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Local online gambling laws and proper gambling regulation are crucial for the region to provide its players with protection. However, current online casino Ireland regulation is performed by multiple authorities, which makes it hard for the government to protect local gamblers properly. Thankfully, it is about to change, as a new Gambling Regulation Authority is about to be established.

Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland

Back in 2021, the government published its General Scheme, where an establishment of a new regulatory body was announced. It will be named the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI) and will function similarly to the United Kingdom Gaming Commission (UKGC). It will be able to grant licenses to online casino Ireland platforms and revoke such licenses.

Moreover, the new authority will control the online gambling environment in order to prevent money laundering, underage gambling and other illegal activities. It is also expected to provide eligible gamblers with additional layers of protection. The Know Your Client (KYC) regulations are also expected to be monitored closely. In the future, the authority may also introduce a program similar to GamStop, which will allow users to block themselves from local online casinos.

Issues with Current Regulation

Right now, the online casino Ireland regulation is hardly efficient. There are multiple authorities responsible for different parts of the industry, and the responsibilities shift regularly. This results in situations, where some aspects are completely out of government control, as the regulatory organs are blaming each other for not controlling local online casinos.

The procedures are also quite ineffective. For example, the Know Your Client procedures are hardly monitored by the government at all, shifting this responsibility to online casinos themselves. Even though most decent casinos perform the procedure properly, there is almost nothing stopping other sites from ignoring this crucial part of the online gambling experience.

The licensing aspect of the industry is also rather poor in Ireland, as there is a lack of control in giving out licenses. Some casinos that should not be legal manage to obtain them, while worthy and fair sites sometimes fail to do so. All these issues are supposed to be resolved when the new authority comes into power, as it is supposed to take all these responsibilities and monitor the processes closely.

Offshore Gambling

Right now, the most attractive option for online gambling is to join offshore casinos. It is not illegal and won’t likely become when the new regulatory body comes into power. There are hundreds of gambling sites registered outside of Ireland that are happy to accept players from the country. Even though the players won’t be protected by the government there, some international casinos have proven their positive reputation and deliver a high-quality service.

The main issue with local gambling sites is that the industry has been held by the lack of control for quite a while now. This has resulted in offshore sites offering a better service than the one available in the country. Hopefully, the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland will work to improve the online casino Ireland industry once it is established, but it will perhaps take years for local sites to reach the same level of quality as offshore casinos already have.

The best option for the new regulatory body is to start offering the players decent protection and introduce new programs like GamStop to make local casinos more appealing to residents than offshore sites.