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Government planning to limit gaming machine maximum payouts to €500

The gambling industry in Ireland is governed by the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956.

Gaming machines.
Gaming machines.
Image: Shutterstock/TaraPatta

THE GOVERNMENT IS planning to set a new limit of €500 on the maximum payout from gaming machines. 

The gambling industry in Ireland is governed by the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. It currently sets out the limits for payouts and stakes for each game and player. 

A government spokesperson said that the limits as they stand are “archaic, unpractical, and unimplementable” and date back to the “1960′s era”.

Earlier this year, David Stanton proposed an amendment to existing regulations that would set new bet and prize limits alongside other changes.

This new proposed limit was originally set at €750 per game, but a revised version has reduced this figure to €500. 

The changes would lift the maximum stake per game in a licensed venue to €5 per player. The minimum age to gamble would also be increased from 16 to 18 under new laws. 

Many gaming organisations, including industry group the Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland, have opposed these changes, mainly on the grounds that the €10 maximum stake is unnecessarily and dangerously high. 

This Act currently places limits on the maximum amount that could be put on stake on any game – a sum of 6 pence per player, or around 3 cent in modern currency.

The proposed €10 limit represents a more than 300-fold increase on the current 3 cent maximum stake. 

This legislation went through the House in March and is now at report stage after being voted on in the Dáil and Seanad.   

With reporting by Christina Finn and Peter Bodkin. 

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