Ireland bans all gambling for under-18s

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An age limit of 18-years-old is to be put in place across all forms of gambling under new legislation in Ireland.

The Irish cabinet approved the new Courts and Civil Liabilities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill that provides a modernisation of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956.

The current law only regulates gaming at carnivals, circuses, amusement halls, arcades, funfairs, as well as lotteries and raffles at sporting and entertainment events.

However, those aged 16 can enter an amusement hall or arcade, which may contain slot machines.

Under the approved legislation, a uniform gambling age limit has been set to 18, as well as clearer guidelines on how to govern sporting club lotteries and raffles, and increasing the stakes and prize pot limits.

According to the Journal website, in a recent interview with the Irish Independent, Minister of State for Justice David Stanton, said he had concerns that local lotteries and raffles were acting without proper authority and regulation.

Under the current law, a permit must be obtained for prizes up to €5,000 (£4,453), whereas a €30,000 prize pot lottery must get a licence from the District Court.

The minister said many breaches of this law are occurring due to lack of awareness and misunderstanding of legislation. The new law will reportedly increase these prize limits.

Stanton is reportedly preparing a Bill for an independent regulatory authority for the entire gambling industry in Ireland.

One aspect is the principle of self-exclusion, in which gambling addicts would be able to request to be refused from establishments for a set period of time. It has been delayed due to its ‘complexities’ in implementation.

“This is an important issue. It is also important the Government puts in place a proper regulatory structure around gambling, both to regulate an industry from which many people get much pleasure, but also one that gives rise to people becoming addicted, impoverished and unwell as a consequence. Legislation in this area is long overdue.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar
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