With regulation on the horizon, where will Ireland’s betting community turn?

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Gambling regulation is on the cards from October 2021 and a new Irish Examiner report highlights the fact that the government is now submitting applications for tender. A new gambling regulator will be set up by 2023, with the government providing up to 12 million euros with the ultimate goal of funding the industry’s own regulation. As things change, it will be interesting to see how the industry adapts – and how gambling trends and preferences change across the country.

Daily Slots and Casino

One of the areas targeted by the regulation is casinos. According to the Irish Times, over the past few years there has been a rise in the problem of ‘problem gamblers’ and this has led to the idea of ​​banning free bets. This eliminates significant predatory marketing and resists the soft lure of being dragged in by free bets. Indeed, playing casino games for money is usually associated with a more up-front and easily accountable form of gaming, where the financial risks are clearly disclosed at the outset. Regulation in this area can therefore benefit more than affect casinos and gamblers and take better measures to protect those disadvantaged by free games.

Sports betting and betting

Sports gambling has certainly enjoyed a long history in Ireland and is, for the most part, unproblematic – for many a fun bet is part of match day. However, there are countless stories of even well-heeled individuals facing extreme hardship due to the harmful nature of some gambling; Michael Chopra, former Premier League footballer, is a notable example. As the Irish Mirror highlighted, more than £2 million of his fortune was sunk in gambling debts. Aside from escalating free bets, changes have been made to reduce the visibility of gambling within Irish sports, for example by removing sponsors from football team shirts and stadiums. Time will tell if it can be as effective.

Dealing with horses

Of all gambling arenas, horse racing is perhaps the most storied in Irish history. The country is famous for its horse breeding, and a huge culture and community has developed around it. According to the Irish Times, there has been uproar in the horse betting community over the potential change in regulation, and it is having a knock-on effect on courses across the country. Coupled with the coming changes in regulation for Northern Irish racecourses, which obviously have a separate legal status but will have a direct impact on operations south of the border, there could be real changes. It’s unlikely that betting on horse racing will become more difficult – it’s part and parcel of the country’s history – but it could become more difficult to make money online.

Watch the industry to see if real change will happen. New regulators and laws indicate that the Irish government may have some teeth in the gambling industry – but only time will tell.

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