Ireland has always had a long history with gambling. According to history, gambling has existed in Ireland since the Middle Ages with evidence such as bone games, dice and glass beads found were studied which pointed to the early existence of gambling. It is in between the 17th and 18th centuries when the Ireland territory had become a part of the British Empire, that the first notable gambling activity was recorded and in these times, horse racing started to become popular in the country.
“Gambling has always has a part in history and has been deeply embedded in the lives of the people of Ireland.”
Horse racing has been deeply embedded in the lives of the Irish people as one of the most favorite past time by the many more particularly sports betting. The sport that is probably most established in the Irish society is horse racing, in which the Irish people are fond of betting. In fact, Ireland became fourth of the largest producer of racehorses in the world. Other table games such as roulette, baccarat, and blackjack were popular games in other European countries and were adapted to Ireland by the British after becoming part of the territory. With the popularity of the different gambling activities in the territory, regulatory bodies were set up to regulate horse racing and soon enough these gambling activities became a norm in the country. And it appears that even today, with the Irish people’s historical love for horses, horse racing betting leads all forms of gambling in Ireland.
Gambling in Ireland can be a bit complicated. Although regulatory bodies and laws were passed to regulate the gambling industry in the country, there remain reservations to this activity. In the present, all forms of betting and gambling became fully legal in the country and it has been one of the thriving industries in Ireland.
Online Casino Gambling Ireland
For many years, the gambling industry in Ireland has become one that is thriving in the country. With Irish punters gambling an estimated €5 billion a year, online gambling has become one of the biggest industry in Ireland. This massive spending of the Irish people towards gambling has gained the attention of the rest of the world making it a target for major gambling brands from all over the world.
As soon as the Internet has become a part of everyday life of the people, Internet gambling was then legalized in 2003, as well as bookmaking sites and other online gambling platforms in the following years. People are then quick to catch up with the trend of online gaming and have since enjoyed the new platform for gambling. Although land-based casinos are still present and operating for punters even today, people are turning more to online gambling since options are wide for the gamblers.
Legislation for Gambling in Ireland
In order for gambling companies to operate legally in Ireland, companies will need to apply for a license and be regulated by certain acts and laws set by the government of Ireland regarding gambling. With the long history of gambling in Ireland, regulatory bodies and laws were passed throughout the country in order to regulate this thriving activity.
Here are some of the significant legislation passed about gambling in Ireland:
Gaming and Lotteries Act
Gambling in Ireland was somewhat complicated in the early years. Some gambling activities remained legal while some are not. Under this act, all casinos were surprisingly prohibited and were made illegal anywhere in the country, while only lotteries intended for charitable purposes were only permitted. This is why you won’t see an exclusive facility for a casino alone in Ireland. In most cases, some only coin the term casino to attract more visitors especially the foreign visitors. Some “casinos” were displayed in hotels, clubs and other facilities in order to serve casino gambling in Ireland. In fact, the majority of the membership clubs were equipped enough to be called casino in which serves the popular table, card and slot games in Ireland. This gave an underground reputation to Ireland when it comes to gambling.
The Gambling Control Bill
The Gaming and Lotteries Act caused an underground operation of casinos in Ireland due to its tight restrictions to gambling. The government found the act ineffective due to the loopholes in the industry in which various private member clubs are illegally operating as casinos in the country which are not regulated by the government. Casino gambling was illegal in the country. Since it didn’t have a licensing system, restriction for these gambling platforms was hard to control.
The government then realized that a legislation to create a licensing system for gambling operators is needed to bring order to the gambling industry. The Gambling Control Bill was then passed to regulate casino gambling. This act states that only those gambling operators with a license are allowed to operate in the country.
Office for Gambling Control
In order to support the Gambling Control Bill, the Office for Gambling Control was created to intensify the regulation of the casinos especially the online casinos, making sure that they comply with the implemented laws and regulations, as well as have acquired the right licenses in order to operate legally in the country. The legislation was also passed that contain provisions to punish gambling operators that provide gambling services in the country without a license.
Aside from licensing the casinos in order to legally operate in Ireland, the office was authorized to perform these following duties related to gambling:
1 )To ensure fairness in all operations of gambling
2) To protect the minors which include children and other vulnerable persons from any risk caused by gambling
3) To ensure consumer protection through their choice and identity; and
4) To ensure that gambling is not used to support or facilitate any criminal or illegal activity in and out of the country.
The Social Gambling Fund
The gambling bill made use of some part of the tax revenue collected from the casinos in order to fund the Social Gambling Fund which supports the prevention and treatment programs for people who have gambling problems.