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Ireland targets €5 max stake on gambling machines

The Republic of Ireland’s Minister for Justice and Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has announced plans to cap the maximum stake on gaming machines at €5 instead of €10, as it was previously suggested in March. The top prize will be set at €500, down from the €750 proposed in March.

Flanagan put forward the proposals in the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019, an interim reform of the law that updates the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. The 63-year old law includes “archaic, unpractical, and unimplementable” 3 cents limit for maximum stake on gaming machines, while the top payout is set at 50 cents.

“Modifying stake and prize amounts is the only current role of the Minister for Justice and Equality with regard to gaming machines. The proposal had been to raise these amounts to €10 and €750 respectively. However, during the Dáil committee stage debate on July 10, 2019, on the modernisation of the stake and prize amounts, some Deputies felt that the proposed amounts were excessive. The Minister of State undertook to consider the matter and now proposes €5 and €500,” said representative of Ministry.

The government also plans to increase the minimum age to place a bet, from 16 to 18 under new proposals.

According to a spokesperson for the Department of Justice, Bill is set for debate in the near future, with the aim of it being enacted before the end of the current session in July 2020.

Earlier this year, the UK government also changed its regulation, drastically cutting the amount players can spend on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). Since April, players can only wager a maximum of £2 per spin on FOBTs, down from the previous maximum bet of £100.

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