Ireland’s long-awaited crackdown on illegal gambling operations has been one of the most discussed topics in the global gaming industry this year. With so much more said than done, the country’s local authorities have decided to expand the crackdown on unlawful gambling activities and unlawful casinos in Dublin despite the fact that a gambling control bill meant to control that very thing has seen hardly any progress for over half a decade now.
Initially revealed in October, the Revenue Commissioners decided to expand its crackdown on some Dublin-based illegal casinos. In fact, according to the country’s finance minister, the process of removal of the illegal gambling machines from various premised had already begun. Apparently, gambling machines that did not have the required operating licenses had spread in Ireland’s capital city and this was becoming even more clear this year and this is what prompted the now intensified crackdown – these illegal terminals violated existing laws that banned the above-mentioned terminals. The casinos offering such terminals had violated a directive of the Dublin City Council as well as some rules that had been imposed by the Revenue Commissioners.
The city council directive mentioned above was established back in 1988 and it stated that gambling licenses cannot be provided in Dublin. This move forced the local casino operators to file applications for amusement licenses, which as per the regulations of the city, are subjected to much lower regulators control.
Is Gambling Addiction in Ireland Getting Out of Hand?
As media reports emerged that a few premises in Dublin that have been offering illegal gambling services have been served with enforcement letters by the Revenue Commissioners but there is something that seems to be even more concerning. According to Irish experts from the Limerick-based Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre, there has been an increase in gambling addiction in the country – it is one of the biggest problems in the country’s gambling sector.
Industry experts believe that there has been an increasing popularity of online gambling among the younger generation and when this is combined with the rather obvious lack of adequate regulation it becomes an even more serious problem. Problem gambling specialists have often pointed out that there are literally infinite opportunities to gamble on the online space and the fact that problem gambling can go on for long makes it very dangerous.
In 2015, the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) commissioned a report that revealed that close 65 percent of adults gambled that year. Keeping this mind, the Revenue Commissioners have in the past few years had to intensify their efforts towards casino industry crackdowns regarding mostly the unlicensed gaming machines.