In a landmark move, Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill has introduced a mandatory “opt-in” mechanism for consumers to receive online gambling advertisements. This transformative decision primarily affects ads on streaming services, social media, and video platforms, marking a significant shift from the previously considered outright ban on social media gambling ads. This development enhances consumer control over the gambling ad content they encounter. [read more about The story of gambling in Ireland]
The bill also extends its impact to broadcasting mediums. A watershed period, from 5:30 am to 9 pm, has been established, during which gambling advertisements on television and radio will be prohibited. This measure aims to provide a more responsible gambling environment, especially during hours when minors are likely to be exposed to such content.
Focusing on the use of promotions in gambling, the bill introduces nuanced regulations. The distinction is made between personalized promotions targeted at individual customers and generic promotions aimed at the broader public. Under the new bill, inducements aimed at individual gamblers will face outright prohibition, potentially leading to criminal charges for senior executives of companies involved. Conversely, more general promotional activities will be regulated based on the discretion of the minister, in consultation with the gambling regulator.
Ireland’s minister for law reform, James Browne, elucidates that any form of inducement, including hospitality, VIP treatment, free bets, or enhanced odds to encourage gambling, will constitute a new offense. This is in contrast to broader promotional activities, where the regulations will be determined post-consultation with the Authority.
As the bill undergoes the committee stage in Dáil, Ireland’s lower house, potential amendments may further shape its final form. The legislative process will continue with debates in the Senate, followed by the president’s final approval.
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