David Stanton, a Minister in the employment of Ireland’s Department of Justice, has made the type of announcement that creates the idea that the Irish government may have finally realised that its lack of proper regulation of the local gambling market is a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. According to Stanton, an independent gambling regulatory body is currently in the works and will soon be established.
Stanton also said that despite his not having wanted to raise any unreasonably high expectations, the regulatory body would in all likelihood be up and running somewhere towards the end of 2020. Its day-to-day operations will apparently be funded from the taxes collected from Ireland’s current licensed operators.
The Irish government has faced a lot of criticism for its lack of a sense of urgency in establishing proper regulations for the industry. Despite the fact that an official review of Ireland’s gambling system was launched in 2008, which is 11 years ago, the 2013 Gambling Control Bill is only now being revised and enforced under the heading of the 2018 Gambling Control Bill. A standard 3-5 year delay appears to be at the order of the day.
Many have been outspoken about the fact that the problem in Ireland appears to be that politicians aren’t in touch with the reality of addictions and unhealthy behaviour. And let it be said that the solution isn’t a ban on gambling. This will only serve to worsen the already troubling unemployment rates in the country. Those who are addicted will in any event merely continue to gamble at illegal casino sites, and thereby make the problem worse that what it already is.
Ireland needs proper regulation; and soon.
It would not be entirely fair to say that government has completely ignored the gambling/regulatory question. In 2018, government instructed research company and legal eagles McCann Fitzgerald to investigate what a regulatory framework would look like when implemented into Ireland’s situation. Their report will help form the foundation for a regulatory blueprint.
Ireland may have been slow on the learning curve, but at least something is finally being done. Better late than never.
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