The Irish betting market is one of the biggest in the world, and per capita, they are the third most prolific bettors globally. This means that there is a huge market for operators but also an equally huge job for regulators to ensure consumers are treated fairly. Irish betting has seen a lot of shifting regulation over the years, with sites required to register with the Revenue Commissioners in Ireland, and such sites can be seen at sites like Betfree betting sites, and there are more changes to come in the near future for the market. Today, we’re going to look at some of the biggest ways that the Irish betting market is regulated, both today and in the coming months and years. Let’s get started.
Historically, advertising has been one of the biggest sticking points for gambling regulation. Generally speaking, operators are expected to advertise in a socially responsible way, ensuring that their marketing is not appealing to the underage. The cost of advertising betting has leaped up enormously in recent years to as much as $725 million globally. Ireland, too, has been hit by this.
Betting marketing is feeling a tighter and tighter squeeze, as regulatory bodies look to make the systems even more strict. With problem gambling a particularly big problem in Ireland, with average losses of up to €600 per person, it makes sense to clamp down harder on potentially predatory advertising.
Advertising is probably the single biggest area for regulation of Irish betting.
2. Loyalty programs
For a long time, loyalty programs have been a major part of more or less all industries. Betting, in particular, has made good use of these to keep their customers happy. For those who remain with a single betting operator for a long time, there are many incentives offered by the companies. Future regulations seek to change how these programs work.
The basic angle of the argument is that these programs encourage excessive gambling, and incentivise customers to keep betting and betting. Putting greater restrictions on how these programs can operate is a key part of the future of Irish betting regulation, as it hopes to restrict the extent to which customers can be encouraged to bet more and more.
Of course, it is not as though these programs are exclusively predatory, but clearly they can make problems worse for those who already have issues.
3. Free bets and bonuses
One of the biggest developments of online betting has been the explosion of free bets and bonuses available through virtually all major operators. These, too, are seen as huge incentives for problem gamblers to keep setting up new betting accounts. Whether they take the form of free bets or deposit bonuses, they are everywhere and even found on sites like these, who compare the bonuses available.
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The upcoming proposed legislation would all but ban free bets. This has naturally drawn a mixed response, as bettors and regulators often see it as a huge advantage for both sides. Critics have also suggested bettors will simply flock to sites that are unregulated, and thus still offer free bets. However, it’s also clear to see how these free bets can drive problem gambling.
This would be a huge regulation to bring into effect.
4. Regulatory bodies
Of course, there are large dedicated bodies that develop all of these laws and rules, and in the coming years, some have suggested an entirely new regulatory body is required to handle the changing industry.
The biggest change that this would bring for the operators is the powers that the new body would have. Any rule breaking could result in fines of up to €20 million, or a percentage of their annual turnover. This would be a considerable increase in their regulatory power, as some of these bodies hand laws have not been updated since the 1930s.
A new regulatory body could see a whole range of new regulations for the industry.
So, as you can see, the Irish market for betting is in for a bit of a shake-up in the coming years. Regulations around betting in virtually every nation where it is legal to have been shifting and changing for decades, and Ireland is no different. Regulations are a force for good to keep the industry in check and to ensure that consumers are always treated fairly and ethically. These are some of the most important ways the regulatory bodies do this.