Two Impending Bills Prepare Ireland for RegulationPublished January 17, 2019 by Lee R
Protection of minors in light of the new gift box threat has fueled Ireland's protectionism in optimizing regulation.
Two new bills on the Parliamentary docket render the coming weeks in Ireland key for iGaming.
The bills will be in no small part reaction to a social climate concerned about the impact on young children of the promotion of gambling through advertising.
The Journey of the Bill
The legislative process will entail the submission of proposals to Parliament by an Inter-Departmental Working Group on Gambling chaired by Fine Gael politician David Stanton.
Overseeing the Process
The pending legislation was announced by Fine Gael parliamentary group chair Martin Heydon, who said the Gambling Control Bill and the updated Gaming and Lotteries Act will address a range of pressing gambling issue germane to the jurisdiction, including promotion of regional lotteries, optimizing the application process, and increasing monetary limits on stakes and prizes for currently licenced land-based gaming machines.
Establishing an Independent Regulator
A key piece of infrastructure that the legislation calls for is the establishment of an independent regulatory authority whom Heydon specified would act in an independent ombudsman-type capacity to keep up with the rapid impact of gaming technology on all gaming.
New Threat to Children
Heydon further pointed out a promotion that may leave children overly vulnerable to promotion, calling loot boxes which include some form of gambling advertising “dangerous” to children, as they come in a form which otherwise appeals to children, comparing the allure of opening one of these mystery boxes to scratching a scratch card.
Addressing Online Ease of Access
Heydon also acknowledged the increased threat that irresponsible iGaming advertising and promotion can pose in light of the accessibility which all aged users have to uncensored content in the online environment.
More About Loot Boxes
As a gambling product promising surprise bonuses to money-paying viewers, the loot boxes are being heavily promoted and featured in popular online media channels such as Youtube and video games
UK Minister Opposes Gift Boxes
UK children’s commissioner Anne Longfield has come out squarely against the loot box phenomenon to characterise the mystery boxes as gambling products outright, while asserting the seriousness of the problem of gambling amongst children under the age of 18.
The new bill adapts the original 2013 Gambling Control Bill, and looks like a key development paving the way for a functional iGaming model in the Ireland jurisdiction for 2019.