With gambling regulation unmoved since the last Irish Gaming Show – and indeed long before, the Irish Amusement Trades Association (IATA) has taken its case beyond national government to the European Union, where the association is determined to drive real change to the long-outdated prosiding legislation.
The Irish Amusement Trades Association is “determined” to push its government towards comprehensive gambling legislation as the country’s wider industry grows increasingly resolute for change.
Indeed, the IATA has recently made an official complaint to the European Union regarding the lack of progress on legislation and the disproportionate application of current regulations – a claim which general secretary John Roche believes will be upheld.
“This Association has been forced by lack of progress on legislation to complain officially to the EU in relation to Ireland’s non compliance with recent European Court of Justice judgements,” explained Roche.
“We are convinced that the current legislation in Ireland will be proven to be being applied in a disproportionate manner by the state which refuses or is dragging its heels in relation to updating it.
“We have a strong legal team working with us on this and we are determined to see this through. The government has been officially informed and is aware of the action we have taken.”
Moreover, the IATA has been in regular contact with ministers, government and opposition members of the Dail and Senate, lobbying for updates to regulation regarding gaming and amusements that hasn’t been changed since the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act.
However in regards to gaming, these stipulations are only applied to 35 percent of the country, leaving 65 percent with no gaming law in place – and therefore all machines in these areas as amusements only.
“Gambling regulation has not moved forward since the last Irish Show,” said Roche.
“This is extremely disappointing as the Gambling Control Bill has been kicked around since 2013 with no progress being made. At the present pace of progress I would hesitate to even predict when Ireland might become a fully regulated market.”
Although making little progress on the Gambling Control Bill,the government has spent time on a Miscellaneous Provisions Bill to make tweaks and adaptations to the regulations set out by the 1956 act. This move, however,has been unanimously criticised by Ireland’s wider gambling industry, which believes there is only one path to becoming a fully and proportionately regulated market.
“The Gambling Control Bill is the only way forward,” concluded Roche.
“The idea that a Miscellaneous Provisions Bill would even be considered as a vehicle to change archaic gaming legislation is simply crazy.
“I don’t know what is driving this but it is certainly not being lobbied for by any trade association of any gambling sector or any of the addiction treatment services.
“All those with any connection to gambling in Ireland are adamant that the only way forward is the introduction of comprehensive gambling legislation.”