The new interim Gaming and Lotteries Act in Ireland has come into force, modernising the promotion of gaming and standardising a minimum age of 18 for all gambling products.
The interim Act has been introduced ahead of a more comprehensive overhaul of gambling regulation planned for next year.
James Browne, minister with special responsibility for gambling regulation, said: “This act modernises the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and will help the better promotion of local gaming and lottery activity.
“These activities, held primarily for charitable and philanthropic purposes, are the lifeblood of our sporting clubs and community organisations across the country.”
The new act sets a minimum age limit of 18 for all forms of gambling, including betting on the Tote, which previously had no age limit.
It also aims to streamline and modernise the application process for gaming and lottery permits and for licences to run small-scale, local gaming and lottery activity. It also adds more consumer protection rules to the promotion of gaming products. It also directs more proceeds from lotteries go to charitable causes.
Minister Browne said: “Gambling is a large and evolving industry. It must be the subject of a modern, sensible and effective licensing and regulatory approach.
“My department is now engaged in the drafting of a general scheme of a new bill to provide for that comprehensive reform.”
The changes will not affect end-of-year draws, the minister said. Permits and licences already issued under the 1956 act will remain valid until their next renewal date.