The Irish Government is planning to make radical changes to the country’s gaming legislation.
Amendments suggest capping the maximum stake allowed on gaming machines to €5 ($5.50). There is also a proposal to introduce a maximum payout of €500 ($550), which is down from the €750 ($825) cap proposed back in March.
capping the maximum stake allowed on gaming machines to €5 ($5.50)
These changes are part of the Gaming and Lotteries Bill that is currently being considered by the Oireachtas. It is now at the report stage and could mean that other amendments are still brought forward.
The current changes were recommended after concerns that current legislation was outdated and easily broken.
However, earlier proposals from back in March suggested that the increase should be even higher, with a minimum stake of €10 ($11) and the maximum pay out set at €750 ($825).
This was reconsidered and reduced by Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan after a series of lobby groups representing those with gambling addictions came forward with concerns.
These proposals come after plans were announced by the government to restrict access to gambling machines from the current age of 16 to 18 years or older. This includes those found at locations such as pubs, arcades, and bowling alleys. Further plans that impact operators are also being discussed.
For local bookmakers, there have been a variety of changes over the past year. The betting turnover tax doubled on January 1, 2019 and then in October the government decided to exempt small bookmakers from paying any tax on their first €50,000 ($55,000) of annual turnover.
However, this was significantly lowered from the €2m ($2.20m) exemption they were initially considering.