Irish media reported that the Department of Justice rejected parliamentary proposals for background checks to increase affordability.
The Department rejected two of the Oireachtas Justice Committee’s recommendations, according to a report published in Irish Examiner on the New Year Weekend.
The proposal included financial background checks that would be performed on customers who open a gaming or betting account.
A statement by the Department shared with the Examiner said that it was not appropriate to implement the recommendation due to data privacy concerns regarding allowing gambling companies the ability to perform their own analyses into an individual’s financial affairs.
According to the Department, Ireland does not have the culture of credit rating companies or agencies that is required for accurate assessment of a consumer’s financial vulnerability.
A second recommendation was made that creditors and dependents should bear the financial losses of operators, especially if they were informed about a person’s financial status.
According to the Examiner, reform advocates like Barry Grant from Extern Problem Gambling have expressed disappointment at this development. He argued for a third-party system that could compensate Ireland’s lack of credit rating agencies.
Ireland is currently implementing the Gambling Regulation Act, which was published in November 2022 by the Government.
The legislation was drafted by James Browne (Justice Minister). Its greatest update will be the establishment of a Gambling Regulatory Authority.
Browne previously described the regulatory powers of this new authority as “extremely powerful”. They will oversee an industry-funded Social Impact Fund , as well a national self exclusion program.
The Bill was broadly accepted by all industry stakeholders including Ian Proctor, Chairman of Flutter Entertainment UK, and Ireland chairman.
The European Gaming and Betting Association has also praised this development, pointing out that it brought the Republic of Ireland’s gambling laws in line with other EU countries.