Critics say Ireland’s gambling law could wipe out horse racing

horse race

A new gambling regulation bill will be introduced in Ireland to save the lives of people affected by gambling addiction. [Image:]

Black market

New gambling laws in Ireland could harm Irish horse racing following the introduction of a gambling law, according to some in the horse racing industry.

Irish Junior Minister James Browne’s Gambling Regulation Bill aims to save the lives of those affected by problem gambling. But critics of the bill claim it will wipe out the 2 billion euro ($2.18 billion) industry and players could end up in jail for tweeting.

Pushing bettors into the black market

Tomorrow Browne is due to explain why his bill will help thousands of people. However, there are fears that if changes are not made there will be consequences, such as pushing bettors onto the black market.

Gambling advertising is currently banned in Ireland between 5:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. The only channels that broadcast Irish racing are Racing TV and At the Races. They have indicated that they will leave the country once the bill comes into force.

Horse jockey Ruby Walsh doesn’t agree with the bill, just the way the Irish government is going about it.

“I’m not naive to think Irish racing will disappear overnight, but it will begin a slow decline,” Walsh said. “When that starts, it’s very hard to turn the wheel.”

Out of sight

Walsh believes that while the bill will not impact the lives of people in urban areas, there will be a huge difference in rural areas.

Talented people will move to where the work is

The biggest rural players in horse racing include the Irish counties of Carlow, Limerick and Tipperary. Because of the bill’s potential impact, Walsh expects talented people will move to where they work.

Even Walsh, who won the Grand National in 2000, believes he will struggle to do anything else when racing slows down.

“As for me, I know you say I should retrain and go back to college, but that’s hard enough in your mid-40s when you have to make money to support your wife and kids,” he said.

He also believes that advertising restrictions are quickly making horse racing untenable, adding that horse racing does not have the same appeal for advertisers as football or golf. “It’s a niche market. Horse racing has always been inextricably linked to gambling,” said Walsh.

Affordability checks

News of Ireland’s new gambling law comes as the UK government introduces affordability checks for bettors.

will not cause any financial harm to the horse racing betting industry

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew has told a select committee that affordability tests would not cause financial harm to the horse betting industry.

However, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) believes this will not be the case due to the “unique relationship between British racing and betting”, adding that the process of carrying out affordability checks on players should be as “smooth as possible”. should. ”

In January, the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said the possibility of stricter affordability checks could lead to more people turning to black market platforms. According to reports, 250,000 people accessed unlicensed gambling sites in December 2020.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *