HomeGamblingAmendment Lets Kids Enter Some Irish Gambling Facilities

Amendment Lets Kids Enter Some Irish Gambling Facilities

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An amendment to Ireland’s new gambling framework legislation would allow children to enter certain facilities where betting is taking place if the venue has the relevant license. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Making a change

The Irish government’s efforts to introduce a new gambling legislative framework is a long time coming. The Gambling Regulation Bill is currently under consideration in the Senate and is undergoing the amendment process.

One of the most notable recent changes sees the dropping of a ban on children being present at betting facilities. This means that underage people can, in certain circumstances, go to larger gambling venues like racetracks to enjoy the sports action while not being permitted to place any bets.

Children will still be barred from retail sportsbooks or similar facilities.

Without this amendment, only people who are at least 18 years old can attend races. Children will still be barred from retail sportsbooks or similar facilities.

Opposing viewpoints

Any facility that wants to have children present will need to get a special license from the newly formed Gambling Regulatory Authority. This body can sanction anyone who breaches these rules, including revoking their license, imposing a sizeable fine, or even initiating criminal prosecution that could lead to a prison sentence of up to eight years.

Some have questioned the amendment, saying that it could increase the exposure that young people have to gambling and adds extra responsibilities on the employees of these facilities to stop minors from betting.

Other amendments

Another amendment relates to the presence of ATMs at betting facilities. Rather than having a blanket ban on cash withdrawal machines, the owner of the premises can submit an application to request an ATM on-site.

complained that the watershed could significantly curtail their efforts to fundraise

An additional change would give an exemption for sports clubs and charitable groups from the upcoming watershed on television gambling ads between 5:30am and 9pm, even if the prizes are worth more than €10,000 ($10,729). Groups complained that the watershed could significantly curtail their efforts to fundraise for good causes.

Finally, amendments to the new exclusion register will change opting out of specific operators or products to self-exclusion from all licensees for at least six months. Anyone on the register will also need to submit an application to get off the list rather than have their name removed automatically.

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