The calls for the introduction of up-to-date gambling legislation in Ireland have become stronger than ever. Recently, campaigners have renewed their calls to fast track renewed gambling laws that would be more suitable to regulate the contemporary gambling market than existing legislation that has remained unchanged for decades.
A program for the Irish Government is aimed at making the authorities more committed to tackling the issue, with proponents of the proposed gambling legislation urging politicians to finally do what they promised many years ago and pass the piece of legislation, which, according to them, the local gambling sector desperately needs.
Proposed gambling legislation was brought before the Irish Parliament several years ago, but has made no progress so far. The draft of the new gambling law, which plans to establish a watchdog for the industry, has remained shelved since 2013.
As claimed by campaigners, the massive delay taken by the Government to pass the legislation has been having a strong negative effect on gambling addicts. They have explained that many people, who have been affected by problem gambling, had no support while dealing with these issues.
Number of Problem Gamblers in Ireland Rises, Campaigners Say
According to some former problem gamblers, who have now been campaigning in favour of the proposed gambling legislation, the demand for a regulatory body that specialises in control and oversight of the local gambling industry has risen immensely. Campaigners have been calling for the Irish Government to establish a regulator that would bring the country’ gambling sector under control.
Supporters of the proposed gambling law have also insisted that the number of problem gamblers in the country has been rising over the past few years, with an increasing number of addicts in need of professional consultation services offered by the HSE.
Campaigners have highlighted the recent regulatory efforts in the UK and the efforts of the country’s Government to update gambling laws ensuring better control over the industry. Some of the changes made in the British gambling legislation led to serious monetary fines being imposed on bookmakers that operate in the country for violations of regulatory rules and requirements.
In fact, some of the largest gambling companies in the UK, such as William Hill and Ladbrokes, have suffered significant financial penalties for regulatory breaches. For example, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has imposed a €3.4-million fine on William Hill’s Mr Green unit for customer protection failures that have facilitated money laundering. Ladbrokes also faced a significant regulatory fine of €6.4 million for its failures to protect gambling addicts.
New gambling legislation proponents have reminded that the same companies operate freely on the territory of Ireland, so they may be making the same violations, both on-site and online, and the only thing that could stand between problem gamblers and gambling-related harm is suitable legislation and regulation on the sector.