The long-awaited modernisation of Ireland’s 1956 gambling law is finally making progress, as the Gaming and Lotteries Bill 2019 moves to committee phase.
However, many in the Dail regret that the legislation only introduces basics of regulation from age restrictions, licensing and stakes and prize limits.
Having gotten the nod from the Seanad Eireann, Ireland’s upper chamber – and will now move to the Select Committee on Justice and Equality for review.
“We believe there is a need for much more thorough control and regulation of gambling,” Fianna Fail Deputy Jim O’Callaghan said. “Regrettably, the legislation before us deals only with very small aspects of the issues concerning gambling that are problematic in this country.”
“We need a gambling control office. We need a regulatory office that can regulate the gambling profession,” O’Callaghan went on.
“We need an office that is able to put in place statutory protections, guided by by-laws created by the regulator, that will have the effect of protecting people from themselves when it comes to their gambling addiction. We need to ensure that the business funds this office.”
“I am sure the Minister of State will appreciate that there is much more to be done in respect of this issue.”
According to Minister of State, David Stanton, the legislation will not be reviewed by parliament until 2020.
Gambling legislation has been extremely complex to draft,” Stanton said. “It takes a long time. I was involved in the pre-legislative scrutiny phase through a committee at that time. Since then, things have changed again.”