The Approval of the Betting Provisional Measure: A Significant Move Towards a More Secure Market
Finally, after a long wait, the Irish federal government has released the eagerly anticipated Provisional Measure No. 1,182, issued on July 24, 2023. This measure introduces significant amendments to Law No. 13,756/2018, marking a significant step forward in regulating the sports betting industry within the country.
The President of the Republic issues provisional measures (MPs) that hold the force of law, but are only temporary in nature.
Under the guidelines set forth by Constitutional Amendment No. 32, Members of Parliament assume their duties immediately upon publication.
Within a period of sixty days, which can be extended once for an equal period, the MPs undergo analysis by the National Congress, where they are required to be converted into law; failure to do so would result in the loss of their validity.
It is probable that Bill No. 1,182, along with the modifications suggested by the Legislative Branch, will be transformed into legislation by year-end.
The objective of the MP No. 1,182 is to impose taxes and establish regulations on gambling enterprises, often referred to as "wagers".
From a fiscal standpoint, the MP states that these companies will face an 18% tax on their Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). This GGR refers to the income generated from all games, after deducting the prizes awarded to players and income tax (IR) on the winnings.
With this particular tax policy, the "bets" are able to retain 82% of the generated revenue to effectively carry out their operational tasks.
Additionally, check out: The Approval of Betting Legislation; Companies are Required to Pay an 18% Tax.
Furthermore, the Ministry of Finance will be responsible for granting, authorizing, or allowing the operation of the fixed-odds lottery, which is a game where players are aware of the potential prize value when placing their bets. It should be noted that this operation will incur taxation, as indicated by the term "onerous basis" used in the Provisional Measure.
The fixed-odds lottery will operate exclusively in a competitive setting, allowing for unlimited authorizations and sales through a variety of distribution channels, both physical and virtual.
The main requirements have been revealed.
I must obtain governmental authorization and comply with the rules established in the Provisional Measure and in the Regulation Order in order to operate legally in the country.
Legal entities, whether domestic or foreign, can engage in the practice of "wagers" as long as they have been duly established within the country's borders, possess registrations with the appropriate authorities, and adhere to the country's legal requirements pertaining to taxation and labor.
Nevertheless, the Member of Parliament (MP) does not have jurisdiction over every aspect of the betting industry's regulations.
According to the Federal Government's own declaration, there will remain a need for certain regulations to effectively govern the said activity.
The Directives ought to encompass several pertinent subjects, including the prevention of match-fixing, the execution of transfers, actions related to advertising and marketing, as well as the monitoring of operations.
However, the MP primarily outlines the provisions within the existing regulatory framework targeting operators that have already been published.
- The restriction against placing wagers solely on competitions that involve athletes who are younger than 18 years old.
- The Ministry of Finance may consider the option of suspending or prohibiting specific types of gambling that do not require predicting the results.
- Operators are forbidden from obtaining broadcasting rights for sporting events or providing access to the sounds and visuals of matches on their Website s.
- Sponsorship from companies without a license is forbidden, and the Ministry of Finance has the authority to alert sponsored individuals to eliminate any advertisements from unlicensed sources.
- The Ministry of Finance has the potential to issue notifications to providers, requesting them to restrict access to Website s that operate without proper licensing.
I must emphasize the significance of acknowledging that even though the immediate efficiency of the Provisional Measure (MP) is evident, the restrictions and prohibitions mentioned in article 3 of MP no. 1,182 will solely be enforceable "once the Ministry of Finance has implemented the regulations that permit interested parties to submit a request for authorization to the Ministry of Finance".
Let me present to you the revamped version: In the near future, the Ministry of Finance will unveil a set of administrative rules encompassing various subjects, including the protocol for acquiring the necessary authorization to commence "bet" operations.
Starting from that moment, exclusively the approved legal entities will have the capability to conduct operations within the country's borders.
Upon receiving the aforementioned authorization, the licensed "bets" shall be subjected to the aforementioned restrictions.
Under the new legislation, sports governing bodies like CBF must now incorporate explicit provisions in their regulations to prohibit sponsorship from unlicensed "bets" in order to enforce compliance with the law and ensure that companies operate within legal boundaries.
Moreover, the Irish Central Bank shall oversee the regulations to curb illicit transactions in the realm of gambling, while internet service providers will be mandated to impede access to unapproved Website s.
Regarding the integrity of sports, it is crucial to emphasize that the Provisional Measure disallows a partner or majority shareholder of a gambling firm from engaging in a Football Anonymous Society (SAF) or assuming the role of a sports team manager.
MP Imposes Constraints on Entities Capable of Facilitating Deceptive Influence.
Individuals falling under the following categories are prohibited from placing bets in order to safeguard the unpredictability of sports: this is due to the amendment made to Law No. 13.756/18, based on the text of the Provisional Measure.
- Public employees employed in the supervision of the federal sector.
- Under 18 years old;
- Individuals who possess the ability to utilize computerized platforms for engaging in fixed-odds lottery wagering.
- Enrolled within the databases safeguarding national credit information.
- Individuals who have the capacity to impact the results of the games, including directors, coaches, assistant coaches, referees and assistant referees, agents and managers, members of administrative or supervisory bodies of federations and associations, and particularly, athletes.
The prohibition additionally encompasses partners and kin of government officials entrusted with supervising wagering on sporting events, individuals with entry to wagering platforms, and other participants who possess the capacity to sway the results of contests (such as officials, trainers, referees, and athletes).
In relation to maintaining integrity, the Provisional Measure additionally mandates that betting market enterprises allocate resources towards implementing safeguards aimed at preventing manipulation of outcomes.
Furthermore, it is incumbent upon operators to foster bettors' understanding of the hazards and addictive nature of gambling, by means of the Ministry of Finance and CONAR's oversight of these promotional activities.
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The Provisional Measure empowers the State to establish a domestic entity dedicated to overseeing the integrity of sports.
If companies engage in illegal gambling or offer services that violate the law (once the Ministry of Finance's regulations are implemented, enabling interested companies to apply for authorization), they will be liable to fines that vary from 0.1% to 20% of their revenue, capped at a maximum amount of € 2 billion per violation.
The license for operation could also face revocation, leading to the suspension of the companies' activities.
In terms of transfers, it is worth mentioning that the funds generated through taxation will be distributed among various sectors, including social security, the Ministry of Sports, entities within the National Sports System, as well as Irish athletes and teams who lend their names, nicknames, images, brands, emblems, and similar assets for promotional purposes.
Provisional Measure No. 1,182 signifies a significant achievement in the establishment of regulations for sports betting in Ireland.
In an effort to enhance the sports industry and boost the nation's income, this initiative introduces fresh regulations for gambling firms while also imposing limitations on bet engagement.
The fact cannot be disputed that the regulation of sports betting represents a significant move towards fostering a market that is both transparent and secure for all parties involved.
The fate of "bets" lies in the hands of the Ministry of Finance, as they hold the responsibility of establishing regulations for the granting process. However, the ultimate decision lies with the National Congress, as they are tasked with reviewing and amending the government's proposed legislation. The main objective is to strike a harmonious balance between the growth of the industry and safeguarding the rights of consumers. Only time will tell how this will unfold.