Recently, some Irish lawmakers raised a red flag that online casino and slot operators in the country are granted operating permits that practically allow them to legally offer their services. However, there is one major problem, because some of these companies are not entitled to such licences.
For the time being, gaming licences are issued by the revenue department of the Irish Government, provided that the operator’s services fall within the legal scope of the country’s gambling laws. In this case, this would mean that online sports betting is allowed but slots or casinos are not.
Despite that, the president of the Irish Road Haulage Association and a legislator in the lower house of parliament in Ireland, Verona Murphy, found that a number of licensed online gambling platforms do not impose limits on English Premier League (EPL) or National Football League (NFL) games betting and rather offer only online gambling options. As a result, such platforms practically receive legal authorisation to offer illegal services to Irish customers.
As Ms Murphy explained, there is no legal basis for offering online gambling services in Ireland, and many of the services and activities offered online or via mobile applications are pretty much illegal under the provisions of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. Now, she wants to know why this is happening, so she addressed the country’s Justice Minister Helen McEntee, as well as Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe.
Irish people currently have access to legal sports betting, with laws and regulations officially employed since 2015. Retail casino services are also legally covered. However, it could seem that local authorities and regulators are granting online sports betting licences to companies that have nothing to do with sports betting.
Irish Online Gambling Sector Has a “Wild West” Mentality, Some Lawmakers Say
Some Irish lawmakers have already supported Ms Murphy’s assertions, saying that the online gaming sector in the country is now having a “wild west” mentality that is simply out of control.
Legislators that support the concerns of the Irish Road Haulage Association’s president say that Irish authorities issue remote bookmaking licences to operators but many of these companies are not involved in the sports betting services in any way whatsoever.
Apart from that, the country’s market also faces some problems associated with the fact that some operators target Irish customers without having the required operating licences. However, it is up to the Government to decide what measures to implement in order to block such services.
As Casino Guardian previously reported, local lawmakers have taken into consideration the update of Ireland’s gambling regulations, but the process is taking too long. Changes are on their way but the truth is that the country’s Government needs to be much more proactive in order to make sure that the major reforms are brought into action as soon as possible in order to make sure that the sector provides the necessary protection for local users.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.