Irish Government Study Eyes Online Gambling Market
A government study released by Ireland's Casino Committee on Thursday recommends the reworking of outdated gambling laws and suggests that the country could profit by regulating and thereby entering more fully the online gambling market, particularly in the wake of the United States' 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
The committee, which was created in 2006 to improve regulation of Irish gambling and casinos, cited the relocation by many companies to Europe in the wake of the UIGEA's passage. "The recent United States prohibition of payment mechanisms for gambling online presents a window of opportunity for Ireland," stated the report.
The report stressed the need to implement proper market protections against underage and problem gamblers, to prevent any influx of "criminal" enterprises, and to build the public's trust in e-commerce related to online gambling. The report also noted that a US-style ban presented other difficulties.
"Should this opportunity be grasped within the appropriate timescale, Ireland, as a gaming friendly centre of excellence, can reasonably expect to attract a reasonable portion of this dynamic industry," concluded the report, and also recommended that Ireland's Finance Minister, Brian Lenihan, examine the possibility of creating competitive tax rates to lure established online firms to Ireland.