Free bets to be banned in Ireland under landmark new gambling laws

By Peter Lynch

Free bets will be banned in Ireland as part of landmark new gambling laws in the country, as reported by the Irish Times.

The proposed laws will come before the Cabinet today, with a new gambling regulator set to be in place to implement the laws by early next year.

The regulator will also be given powers to revoke or suspend gambling licences, and will be able to freeze accounts and block incoming payments to providers, while there will be no inducements or VIP treatment for certain gamblers.

A social impact fund meanwhile will also be established, which will place a levy on gambling companies, which will fund addiction treatment and other awareness measures. A self-exclusion register will be available to allow gamblers to restrict themselves from certain providers for a certain period of time.

Advertising is another area that will be subject to strict measures, with the new regulator able to issue codes around the time and frequency that gambling ads can appear on TV, radio and other media. Bans on ads which may appeal to children will also be put in place.

The code will be complemented by sanctions for those who do not comply.

The legislation has been led by Minister of State in the Department of Justice James Browne and the Minister for Justice Heather Humphreys.

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