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Malta Voices Concerns Over Ireland’s Proposed Gambling Legislation Impacting European Market



In a significant development within the European gambling sector, Malta has expressed serious concerns through the European Commission’s technical regulation information system (TRIS) about Ireland’s new gambling legislation.

Malta, a central hub in Europe’s online gambling industry, warns that Ireland’s proposed Gambling Regulation Bill could inadvertently boost unlicensed gambling activities. The bill’s lack of clarity and potential restrictions on game types could infringe upon the freedom to provide services under EU law.

By highlighting these issues, Malta aims to safeguard the integrity of the European online gambling market, ensuring fair competition and the availability of regulated, safe gambling options for consumers.

Stay informed as this dialogue between Malta and Ireland unfolds, shaping the future of gambling regulations and the balance of responsible gaming and market freedom within the European Union.


Malta’s Critical Analysis of Ireland’s Gambling Bill

The Maltese government, utilizing the European Commission’s technical regulation information system (TRIS), has raised significant concerns about Ireland’s impending gambling legislation. Malta fears that the proposed Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 might inadvertently drive players towards unlicensed operators, undermining efforts to maintain a safe and regulated gambling environment in Europe.

Concerns Over Game Restrictions and EU Law

Malta’s main argument centers on the potential power granted to the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland to dictate the types of games operators can offer. This approach, according to Malta, lacks clarity and might conflict with the freedom to provide services as protected by EU law. Malta is particularly worried that such restrictions could unfairly limit operators from other EU member states who wish to engage in the Irish gambling market.

Questioning Advertising and Betting Limitations

Further, Malta has raised questions about the proposed restrictions on gambling advertising, particularly the exemption given to National Lottery advertising. The Maltese government believes that this creates an uneven playing field. Additionally, Malta questions the proposed limits on betting amounts and winnings, arguing that without substantial empirical evidence, such measures could be seen as disproportionate.

Industry and Public Response

The Irish government’s consultation earlier in the year did not lead to changes in the proposed legislation, despite Malta’s concerns. However, Malta is not alone in its critique. A recent survey conducted by Lottoland, known as the Ireland Thinks survey, revealed public opinion on the proposed reforms. While 75% of the 1,387 participants supported more regulation, two-thirds believed in the freedom to gamble responsibly. Moreover, 19% of gamblers indicated they would seek alternative options if gambling is restricted in Ireland.


Lottoland’s Call for Industry Consultation

Lottoland has urged the Irish government to reconsider its approach and engage in a more thorough consultation with the industry. The company suggests that the proposals for limits on wagers and winnings could prove unpopular among gamblers and might lead to unintended consequences, such as a rise in unregulated gambling.

A Pivotal Moment for European Gambling Regulation

The concerns raised by Malta and the feedback from the Lottoland survey highlight a critical moment in European gambling regulation. The outcome of Ireland’s legislative process will have significant implications not just for Ireland but for the broader European gambling market. It underscores the need for a balanced approach that respects EU law, protects consumers, and fosters a healthy, competitive gambling environment.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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