Online Gambling Law in Ireland

July 25, 2013

Currently, Ireland has a fairly good set of online gambling laws in place. Locally operated online casino sites are allowed to offer online gambling services to Irish citizens, and they are licensed and regulated. This means that Irish online gambling fans are protected somewhat when playing at locally licensed online casino sites, and the Government of Ireland gets to collect a chunk of cash in the form of online gambling tax revenue.

However, a new set of amendments to the online gambling laws in Ireland. This new bill, titled the Gambling Control Bill, will place restrictions on both the size, and the number of online casino sites that are allowed to operate within Ireland.

Gambling Control Bill stipulates that any company offering online gambling within Ireland, regardless of the fact that they may not be based in Ireland, will be required to apply for an online gambling license in Ireland. This means that the international online casino sites, that offer online gambling to everyone, regardless of location, will be in contravention of Irish online gambling laws if they continue to allow Irish members to play at them. This is a major change to the gambling laws in Ireland.

A representative speaking about the Gambling Control Bill, has said that, “This legislation has the twin objective of effectively regulating the new and dynamic gambling sector that has emerged in recent years, while also providing the opportunity to introduce important new measures to protect vulnerable adults and young people. The updated legislation and new regulatory regime will provide for a consistent interpretation and application of the law across all areas of gambling and as a result, it will bring legal certainty to the area. I believe that this Bill will give Ireland a well-regulated gambling system that will be recognised as such internationally.”

We can see why the Gambling Control Bill is being proposed, and why these changes to gambling laws in Ireland are a good idea from the point of view of the population, and it’s Government. However, the upshot of these changes is that online gamblers in Ireland will become far more restricted, with far fewer choices of legal online casino sites to choose from, and this is a bad thing for them. So these new gambling law changes are a double edges sword, they are good for Ireland, but not so good for Irish online gamblers.

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