The Recent Changes in Ireland’s Gambling Law
Sports betting is especially popular in Ireland and has been for several decades. Actually, it can be said that every Irishman grows up with sports betting. Who would be surprised if the gambling law in force in Ireland is also several decades old? Thus, it was more than time that the previous law was changed.
Ireland Again Takes Action to Change the Law
When the previously valid gambling law was brought into being in Ireland, no one could have expected online gambling and the numerous lotteries and scratch cards that were available. This is one of the reasons why the previous law is now being changed.
Another reason is the lack of player protection and a missing age limit. Previously, minors could also participate in gambling.
This was already changed last year when gambling was abruptly reformed. Now also, in Ireland, only persons of full age are allowed to participate in any kind of gambling.
Now the government wants to take the whole matter slowly and in detail. Thus, one party has drafted the proposal that advertising for gambling will be banned.
The only exception should be the advertising of sports betting. The draft does not make it clear why this should be the case. Possibly, the restriction and permission for sports betting advertising are because most sports clubs and athletes are sponsored.
This statement is especially true for horse racing. For this reason, it was already hotly debated last year whether it would really make sense to impose any restrictions in this area.
Interesting Facts about Gambling in Ireland
The latest published data illustrates why a new gambling law is being sought for Ireland. In 2021, all Irish people spent an amount of €10 billion on gambling.
Here, the population balanced out, and a half was spent on online casinos and the second half on sports betting. Whether this was done intentionally or not remains to be seen. Thus, each person living in Ireland spent about €400 per year.
This figure puts Ireland in seventh place in the world. This data also leads medical professionals to back a reformed gambling law. Experts see a health risk if gambling continues to be actively participated in.
Of course, it cannot be seen as positive if children already grow up with gambling and regard it as normal. Especially since there is a risk here that this behaviour will be passed on to the next generation.
As long as sports betting is seen as a leisure activity, nothing will change in the population's behaviour. The Minister for Public Health takes a similar view, supporting all efforts to ensure that gambling in Ireland does not become a health hazard.
Other Reasons for Law Reform
As time went on, other reasons were added as to why the gambling law, which has been in place since 1956, should be abruptly reformed.
Previously, gamblers could only go to a locally based betting shop and place their bet. The bookmakers did not care about the age of the players – after all, there was no age limit. This alone, of course, posed a problem.
For players of age, there was also the fact that they had recently been able to bet online. This is where the government apparently sees the biggest danger, as everything here is done without regulation. However, such an opinion is not correct.
In an online casino that also offers sports betting, only persons of legal age are allowed to open an account. The same applies to online bookmakers. Despite all this, Ireland's government sees a problem when bets are placed via cell phones.