There are some countries which have a rich history when it comes to gambling and its regulation. Ireland is one of those countries where gambling and betting are part of their culture. The gambling community has a strong position in the government.
But naturally, the gambling laws had to change, adapting to modern times, so, the gambling legislation in Ireland went through many updates. To get a clear picture of how it all went, we need to tell you more about its history, so that you can understand how gambling regulation is implemented in Ireland today.
History of Gambling in Ireland
The history of gambling regulation in Ireland began in the 1800s, with the implementation of the Betting Act of 1854. However, before 1956, not much regulatory oversight existed. And that’s when the government finally addressed casino gambling and lotteries and crafted the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. This is when gambling clubs were allowed, which seemed as mini-casinos.
And while many things have happened until then in terms of updates to the laws and regulations, the most recent ones shaped Ireland’s gambling as you know it today, with a modern regulatory structure. In 2010, the country confirmed the introduction of licenses and tax for online betting operators to start offering betting on races. That same year, a tax for land-based and interactive gambling was set.
In 2012, Minister Paul Kehoe announced a reform in the gambling law which was postponed but was expected to be an introduction of a 1% on turnover tax. But then, towards the second half of the year, the Finance Department published a draft making changes to the Draft Betting Bill, which stated that operators that receive over €200k in bets or over 10% revenue per annum, must apply for a license with a 1% tax on turnover and 15% on GPT.
Interactive Gambling Advances
And while in 2012 the national lottery legislation was announced, in 2013 a tender process for a 20-year license was launched. The same year, an Interactive Gambling amendment to the Betting Bill was submitted, and the Gambling Control Bill 2013 was published. 42 different license categories were allowed, issued by The Office for Gambling Control Ireland.
In 2014, the first lottery licenses were issued, and the same year, the first campaign promoting online gambling was launched by the Irish National Lottery. In the meantime, the Finance Minister approved the amendment to the Betting Bill and gave the Irish Revenue to control interactive operators, but the announcement of the interactive gaming tax information was delayed for 2015.
The Gambling Act 2015 was implemented next, where a tax of 1% of the gross win for online casino and bingo and 15% for sports betting were imposed to the 27 operators who have been granted a remote bookmaking license.
But being committed to adapt to modern times, the Department of Finance started re-evaluating the regulatory system that has remained unchanged in 60 years. In 2018, the tax was increased to 2% and 25%, limits on withdrawals were set, and the rule for allowing only players which are 18 or above was stated. To this date, other reforms are being reviewed and considered, so Ireland’s commitment to keeping up with the pace of other regulated markets continues.