heir assessment was based on significant regulatory changes that are set to emerge from a long-awaited review of Ireland’s outdated gambling laws later this year.
PWC estimates that Ireland’s gambling industry can achieve compound annual growth rate of 15.3 % - twice that expected in the UK and second only to Spain across the whole of the EMEA region - because of impending changes to outdated rules that have constrained the industry’s growth until now.
The publication this summer of a report by Ireland’s Casino Committee put into motion a root and branch review of all gambling activities, including gaming machines, online and lotteries, which are currently regulated by the archaic 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act, and many of Europe’s gambling operators are paying close attention to the outcome.
Some 32 recommendations were made in the report of the Casino Committee, which includes the licensing of casinos, the removal of local authority regulatory powers over amusement arcades and the exclusion of fixed-odds betting terminals from betting shops. The report also introduced online gambling and called the US prohibition on Internet betting payments “an opportunity for Ireland.”
With debate on shaping new gambling policy now underway, ahead of scrutiny by a cross-party committee later this year, London-based regulatory information service GamblingCompliance has scheduled an important and timely debate on Ireland’s gambling law changes.
The event is set to take place in Dublin on the October 13-14 at Clontarf Castle Hotel and together with the leading Irish law firm A&L Goodbody, this landmark event will examine the Committee’s recommendations and the role they will play in shaping a new gambling landscape.
There will be discussions on player protection and problem gambling and the contentious issue of FOBT’s in the Republic of Ireland will be addressed by both the bookmaking industry, and their fiercest critics, including outspoken Irish TD Pat Rabbitte. The conference will also present conclusions from a newly commissioned economic impact study on regulating gaming in the Irish Republic.
The report stresses that those who are currently operating private members clubs and amusement arcades that offer gaming should not assume that they will be awarded licenses under the new regime. Casinos have been warned that they will likely have to pay a higher rate of tax than the 1 % of turnover currently applied to bookmakers. Online gambling operators are hoping Ireland’s low rates of corporation tax will be used to make the republic a centre for the global internet gambling industry.
Justice Minister Dermot Ahern in announcing the review, said he was anxious that the government get things right in relation to gaming and betting codes. "I want to ensure that betting and gaming activities are carried out within a responsible framework that recognizes the reality of these activities, but which ensures they are properly managed, particularly as regards to problem gamblers," he said.