Ireland Proposes €5 Max Stake, €500 Payout for Gaming Machines

  • Maximum payout set to rise from 50c ($0.55) to €500 ($550)
  • 'Antiquated laws' relate to the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956
  • Cap of €750 ($825) proposed in March but lowered after complaints by lobby groups
flag of Ireland sticking in european banknotes
The Irish Government is currently considering whether the maximum payout for gaming machines should be lifted from 50c ($0.55) to €500 ($550). [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Radical changes

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.

Outdated concerns

The current changes were recommended after concerns that current legislation was outdated and easily broken.

Legislation currently allows for a maximum payout of 50c ($0.55) and has remained unchanged since legislated in 1956. The maximum bet is just 3c ($0.03).

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.

Further plans

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.