The legal gambling age differs from country to country, and some gambling activities may have different age limits. For example, in New Zealand, players can gamble online if they are over 18. However, they can’t enter a land-based casino unless they are over the age of 21. Now, Irish lawmakers are considering adding concrete age limits to their gambling laws.
On Tuesday the government of Irish Prime Minister, Leo Varadkar, approved a full vote on the Courts and Civil Liabilities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill. The bill is expected to ‘modernise’ the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956.
Current Irish Gambling Age
Irish officials aim to change more than the age limits for gambling, the current age being 18. The new laws are expected to address loopholes in current legislation that allow persons 16 or older to enter arcades with slot machines. More so, they aim to address carnivals, circuses and funfairs that offer slots to minors.
Also under the microscope are licensing procedures for club lotteries and raffles. These procedures only require legal permission for a minimum pool of €5000 (NZ$7780). Additionally, a maximum pool of €30 000 (NZ$47000) requires operators to get permission from a District Court judge. Currently, people under the age of 18 may not buy lottery tickets or place sports bets.
Gambling Age Regulations
Part of the new bill will include changing the official age to 18 for all gambling activities. Varadkar told TheJournal.ie that it is important for the Irish government to structure the gambling industry and its regulations. He went on to state that the decision was important to ‘both to regulate an industry’ that many people benefit from and enjoy. However, he also said it was an industry that ‘gives rise to people becoming addicted, impoverished and unwell as a consequence.’
Gambling legislation like the bill is reportedly ‘long overdue’ according to the Prime Minister. For more on Kiwi gambling age restrictions and laws, take a look at our gambling laws guide.