IRELAND CONTINUES TO PONDER GAMBLING REFORM
14th June, 2011 at 03:50:34
Six months after the submission of an industry assessment, the government is still "reviewing".
It seems the wheels of government in Ireland turn slowly, judging by a report in the Irish Times this week, revealing that a government-tasked study of necessary gambling reforms - including internet gambling - is still under review six months after its conclusions were submitted.
Ireland's gambling laws are seriously in need of updating in both a land and internet sense, and in the country's current parlous economic situation such a revision could bring over 13 000 new jobs to the nation and up to Euro 300 million in additional tax revenues.
Following an extensive enquiry, a consultation paper on legislative options for the gambling sector was published in December by then minister for justice for Ireland Dermot Ahern.
The paper outlined sweeping changes to the land sector, including a framework for licensing and regulating small-scale casinos which operate as members' clubs, and a proposal to allow a resort casino similar to that proposed for Tipperary.
It proposed the framing of legislation to allow for the establishment of registered land casinos with up to 15 gaming tables and about three times as many gaming machines.
The Options for Regulating Gambling report also looked at the issue of licensing online betting and proposed the reinforcing of the ban on fixed-odds betting terminals, gaming machines that offer casino-style games such as blackjack and poker in bookies shops.
However, and more than six months on, the current minister of justice, Alan Shatter, is apparently still considering whether the proposals outlined in the Options report represent the best choices for the Irish government.
A spokesman told that Irish Times that the review was being undertaken on an entirely objective basis to put in place a modern legal framework to regulate gambling, taking account of the various forms of gambling that exist both online and offline and having regard to the public interest.
Related News Tags: Land Casinos, Ireland