Betting on politics is nothing new. In fact, these types of bets are becoming increasingly more popular especially since success relies on more than just blind luck. Be that as it may, according to Ireland’s Fine Gael political party, politicians should refrain from taking pictures of themselves placing a bet in favour of their winning an election.
The party has likened this to the out-dated culture of visiting dignitaries being taken to be treated for a pint immediately upon their arrival. The party’s Chair, Martin Heydon, said that the time was long overdue for certain issues to be addressed, of which the issue of politicians endorsing betting as part of their PR, is but one of many.
Heydon also touched on the extremely controversial issue of loot boxes. Countries all over the world are divided as to whether loot boxes constitute gambling. Dutch and Belgium authorities have been outspoken about the fact that loot boxes, in their opinion, constitutes gambling and as such, contravenes every gambling law currently in force. The main issue at the root of all the confusion and controversy is obviously the fact that loot boxes are being purchased by minors, and in some cases even very young children, depending of course on the specific game in question.
In September, Ireland’s Department of Justice signed a declaration expressing its concerns over the issue of young children being exposed to gambling activities. In the meantime, 14 more countries have signed similar declarations in a show of support. According to Heydon, the time has come for a regulator to be appointed to oversee the video games sector, as the technology driving the industry is miles ahead of current legislation.
And of course, Heydon isn’t wrong. As it stands, there is no longer any need for anyone to enter a betting shop. Smartphones have made it possible for bets to be placed just about anywhere, and at any time. This has removed a lot of control from the hands of regulators.
According to local newspaper The Irish Times, further legislation will be published for Ireland’s Gaming and Lotteries Act before the current year is out. An official betting regulator will also be appointed.
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