Operators of online casinos and slot machines in Ireland are getting the permits they need to make their platforms available lawfully. Lawmakers now demand explanations from the Government.

Gaming licenses are issued by the Irish government’s revenue department, given that the operator’s conduct is within the parameters of what is legally acceptable. This, as per the letter of the law, entails no slots or casinos, and strictly only online sports betting.

However, Verona Murphy, a member of Ireland’s lower House of Parliament and the head of the Irish Road Haulage Association, found that some legitimate online betting sites aren’t offering any odds-on football game. They exclusively provide online gaming choices like slot machines instead. These sites can therefore legally provide unlawful activities throughout Ireland in this way by using a license that should only be used for offering sports betting services. 

Murphy recently expressed her concerns to both the Minister of Finance, and Minister of Justice  Paschal Donohoe and Helen McEntee. Legal sports betting is widely available in Ireland because of the legislation and rules that have been in place since 2015. Additionally, there is legal protection for physical casinos. Nevertheless, it appears that Irish regulators are approving businesses that have nothing to do with sports betting by giving them online sports betting licenses as a guise for online casino gaming. 

Are Irish License Issuers are Making a Mockery of the Law?

Murphy’s claims are backed up by Barry Grant, a project manager and addiction specialist at External Problem Gambling. He describes the Irish internet gaming industry as having no restrictions and an “anything goes” kind of mindset.

Operators are receiving remote bookmaking permits from the nation. Grant, however, cites a number of people who abstain from sports betting. The two that provide online gaming are Jackpot.com and Evoke Gaming. These sites offer slot machines and other real money online casino games that should technically be illegal in Ireland. 

Then there’s the issue with unlicensed operators which are easily accessible to Irish players. This is a problem which cannot be ignored, since there are hundreds of them available within the jurisdiction of Ireland. And while it’s the government’s onus to enforce restrictions by blocking them, third party sites, or affiliates should also be aware of the operators they are negotiating deals with to promote on their site. 

Chief Editor at NoDeposit.Guide, Ian Harper, concurs with this and confirms that ‘finalizing promotions for potential players in Ireland is only part of the work we do. A lot of research is involved, and this includes verifying that the operators we choose to work with are ones who are licensed and legally operating.

The Irish Government Seems to Think Things are On Track

Ireland’s gambling laws have been discussed for revision, but the process is taking its time. A few modifications could be expected. Major changes, however, are still on the horizon for now. 

Murphy worries that the lack of regulations may cause the money to leave Ireland. She wants the government to quickly update gaming legislation and get a handle on internet casinos and slot machines.

The administration, for its part, believes it has a strong understanding of how things are developing. Murphy’s worries were addressed by Donohoe, who emphasized the government’s aim to establish a gaming regulator.

Furthermore, he emphasized that the government has no choice but to grant a remote sportsbook license to a business that complies with the regulations.

Donohoe, however, conveniently omitted to expressly answer whether any operators are breaching the law by providing online casino games for real money such as slots, roulette, blackjack, and the like.

Ireland has been drafting new gambling legislation for a while now. A new Gambling Regulatory Authority has recently been established under the newly implemented Gambling Regulation Act. The government must first align the process’ various moving components and so the process is turning out to be a sluggishly moving forward. 

How the New Gambling Regulatory Framework in Ireland is Taking Shape

Given that legislation must be adopted before the authority can grant gambling licenses and permits, as well as apply fines, at a time when the business is growing online, officials acknowledged it may take up to 18 months to enact.

The Irish Revenue Commissioners now grants licenses to betting firms, but no independent regulator oversees the industry or safeguards customers.

According to a recent government study, the regulator might resemble the UK Gambling Commission, which already works with licensing authorities to control commercial gambling and the UK National Lottery in Great Britain.

David Stanton, the Minister of State in charge of gambling regulation, specified recently that he wants gambling to be a safe, fair, and engaging pastime for the majority of individuals who choose to participate.

Additionally, he wants to increase player protection and reduce the negative consequences on young people and those who may be addicted.

Restricting gambling to individuals who are at least 18 years old is advised, as are online gaming portals without play-for-free games, which are more likely to appeal to teenagers. According to the report, underage individuals should not be targeted by gambling advertisements or promotional offers, and age verification procedures must be in place and reliable.