Ireland to ban free bets, France to fight limiting of bets.

Republic of Ireland

The country is to see their first ever specific gambling regulator very soon. The bill is titled the “General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation”. It sets out provisions to regulate the gambling industry in Ireland, part of the bill introduces new player protection measures.

According to the bill the following things will be banned:

  • Free bets;

  • Any attempts to incite a person to keep gambling;

  • Offering credit or a loan to any player.

Penalizing players by refusing bets or reducing winnings is also prohibited, as is having an ATM on licensed gambling premises.

Licensees must clearly display terms and conditions – including applicable odds on offer for events – to both online and in-person players. In general, licensees must promote safer gambling awareness among bettors.

If the player protection measures are breached, operators could be subject to a fine, have their license revoked and/or be suitably prosecuted. Fines can reach up to €20.0m in a case where one person is involved, and €20.0m or up to 10% of annual revenue where a licensee is involved.

The regulator will become the sole authority on licensing, with the power to grant, revoke and renew licenses. It will also control gambling advertising and regulate all gambling activities and services.

Ivan Kurochkin’s comments

Although it may seem like the Irish authorities are clamping down on both gambling operators on one side, and the players on the other, in reality, the government has come a long way to finally engage in the overhaul of the gambling regulations in the country. Previously that had been written and re-written numerous times, all without having a dedicated governing body to control and oversee gambling.

Ireland’s Minister of State for Law Reform, Youth Justice and Immigration introduced the bill that will establish the gambling regulator and have it be the sole authority on licensing, with the power to grant, revoke and renew. It will also control gambling advertising and regulate all gambling activities and services.

Following the world trend of setting up local gambling regulations, Ireland aims to promote safer gambling awareness among bettors and improve the mechanisms ensuring the principles of responsible gaming and player protection.

"We can clearly see how serious the intentions of the Irish government are, as part of the bill contains the provisions aimed to ban the free bets offering, any attempts to incite a person to keep gambling, like offering to play on credit or a loan" — says Ivan.

However, there is still time for the business to regroup and adjust to the changing conditions of the market that is slated to be regulated very soon.

 

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