There has always been a synergy between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. This is unsurprising really given the proximity of these nations, the long history both positive and negative that has existed between these political entities and the fact that part of the island of Ireland is still considered a state within the UK. As far as the gambling industry is concerned it is almost universally true that where an operator accepts UK traffic they also accept players from Ireland.
However, change is looming for the Irish market as their government moves slowly but inexorably towards full regulation. The Republic of Ireland government has repeatedly indicated their intention to put in place a full gambling authority tasked with managing an industry worth an estimated €8 billion annually. This new body is expected to have authority over establishing a levy on the industry (tax), responsible gambling, underage gambling, advertising and sponsorship and regulation of the execution of the various types of games being offered. Alongside this there are discussions ongoing regarding Ireland potentially following the UKGC lead and establishing an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system to manage consumer complaints.
An update to Irish gambling regulation is long overdue with current structures drawing on the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956 and the Betting Act of 1931. While these pieces of legislation may have remained fit for purpose for a significant period of time, with the rapid evolution of the internet and specifically online gaming since the mid 1990’s addressing the modern market is something that critically requires review. But the fast changing nature of the market has proved challenging to deal with for the slow turning wheels of governments all over the world including the Irish.
Nevertheless, the Irish government has repeatedly returned to this issue and it seem reasonable to expect that a regulatory authority is likely to be established over the coming 18-24 months.
Despite the likelihood of incoming regulation not all operators are seeing the incoming regulation as any form of deterrent, relying on sensible governance to strike an appropriate balance between market accessibility and regulatory strictures intended to safe guard consumers and improve the market in a general sense.
One such operator is the Mansion Casino Group who operate Mansion Casino, MansionBet, Casino.com and Slots Heaven. This operator opened up its doors to Irish player in May 2019, making the announcement that it had obtained an Irish gambling license license in time for the Ireland vs Gibraltar Euro 2020 football qualifiers. This make the Mansion Group one of the few in the industry to hold an Irish license and make a clear statement of intent regarding their long term plans for this market.
Mansion Casino run on the Playtech platform. Effectively all of the biggest names in the online gambling industry partner with Playtech to provide their casino games, though in recent years this dominance has been challenged by the likes of Net Entertainment who have been far more successful flexible when working with clients who want to provide games from a range of providers. Playtech were slow to engage with this business model and as such their games are not nearly as widely available. Sadly, the majority of the big name Playtech operators take a stone wall approach to the management of player complaints. The Mansion group are the nearly unique and shining exception to this rule, having successfully cooperated with this service for a number of years now.
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