There are many forms of gambling, including sports betting, casinos, and lotteries, all of which are subject to their own regulations and laws. If you reside in Ireland and are thinking of getting started at an online gambling site, you need first to get to know all the laws surrounding it. In this article, you can find everything you need to know about the main laws and regulations regarding gambling in Ireland.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland
The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland will be the responsible statutory authority for the licensing and regulation of all gambling services and sites in Ireland. The GRAI is set to be in operation at the end of 2023 and will act independently, ensuring public safety and security. This body will regulate sites, apps, advertising, and in-person gambling services.
This statutory authority will replace the existing legislative framework, which allows online bettors to play at gambling sites licensed by outside bodies such as the MGA and UKGC. It is set to introduce safeguards to protect players from problem gambling, including a National Gambling Exclusion Register and a Social Impact Fund, which will provide funding for research, education and training on gambling addiction. The GRAI is set to follow a similar structure as both the UKGC and MGA.
The Gambling Regulation Bill
This is the bill that will establish the GRAI as a legitimate gambling authority, as well as provide strict laws and regulations across the whole gambling sector. This bill has been approved and is in priority drafting, expected to be enacted at the end of 2023. The bill will replace all existing laws and legislation on gambling in Ireland, including the Betting Acts, the Gambling and Lotteries Acts, the National Lottery Act 2023, and the Totalisator Act 1929.
As we mentioned previously, this will cover all forms of gambling, including games, sports betting, lotteries, bingo, and amusement games, both online and in person. Gambling will be considered by law as the act of risking something of value on an uncertain event; according to this bill, this will exclude, however, fantasy and e-sports, and these are based on skill or knowledge.
On top of this, the bill will provide a licensing system for both online and offline gambling operators. It will set out criteria for obtaining and maintaining these licenses as well as the categories each license will fall under (generic, specific, and personal).
The main role, however, is to impose obligations and restrictions on gambling operators. These include fairness and integrity checks, protection against laundry and fraud, protection of minors and vulnerable people, and more. The GRAI will be the specific body to ensure these operators are upholding these standards.
In conclusion, gambling is already a legal and regulated activity in Ireland; however, it will soon become more personal to individuals in Ireland. The main purpose of this change is to uphold public interest, prevent crime, promote responsible gambling and update outdated legislation.
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