Update on The Gambling Control Bill 2013

Personalise your news feed by choosing your favourite topics of interest. The Minister has identified as a major priority the need to ensure gambling operations do not come under the control of organised criminal gangs. That Bill was debated in the Irish Parliament on 9 May. Several of these points are discussed below. I would imagine that the social media operators might be reluctant to do that.

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Under the Bill, the number of casinos will be limited to 40 and no casino will be permitted to have more than 15 tables. Minister Shatter continued , "Under the new law, anyone offering a gambling service to anyone in the State, by whatever means and regardless of whether the operator is based in the State or elsewhere, must have a licence.

A new executive agency will act as both the licensing authority and regulator for the sector, and will have responsibility for checking compliance and in enforcing the law generally. The agency will be self-financing, from licence fees and other charges. Minister Shatter stressed that the new legislation will give added protection to all customers, "I am committed in particular to ensuring that there are effective and robust safeguards in place to protect young people and those for whom gambling has become a problem.

The Bill introduces a range of new measures including the introduction of age restrictions; staff training; controls on advertising, promotions and sponsorship; the establishment of a new Social Gambling Fund to assist with treatment services; a new complaints procedure for consumers; and new arrangements to assist consumers seeking compensation from a licence holder. I will accept nothing less than high quality services and I will make sure that all operators pay their share for the development of services needed by people for whom gambling has become a problem".

Technological change more than any other factor has accounted for the expansion in gambling in recent years. Minister Shatter continued, "I will ensure that the new law will have the flexibility necessary to deal with rapid and continuous innovation, in the public interest. The Bill will, for example, include powers to prohibit or restrict certain games or equipment if they are harmful, including devices and games that are not yet in use.

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Pillars collapsing in old gypsum mine may have caused Monaghan sinkhole. The news that the Bill is set to proceed was welcomed by Boylesports chief executive John Boyle, who said it replaces "a raft of dated and ineffective laws. A spokeswoman for the Irish Bookmakers Association said the Bill would "provide a more level playing field across the entire gambling sector, and ensure all operators from the broad spectrum of gambling sectors have clear legislative guidelines within which to operate and invest in their business".

This Gambling Control Bill attempted to address this anomaly, which is causing massive shop closures and job losses, and the IBA looks forward to developing the proposals in the Bill," she added. Advertising restrictions would also apply under the current Bill, with the rules to have regard to the "principle" that gambling ads "must not contain endorsements by recognisable figures who would be regarded as idols by young persons".

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