IMGL Magazine April 2022

Ireland market reform

• The manufacturing, assembling, placing on the market, distribution, sale or lease of gaming, equipment machines or devices. • Providing risk management services; • Carrying out customer due diligence or player identity verification on behalf of a licensed operator; or • The provision of managed information technology services such as cloud computing. License application process While the detail of the license application and renewal process is likely to be determined by the Authority, the Scheme includes some provisional details. In particular, it is anticipated that the applicant will be required to provide information on matters such as: • details of its beneficial ownership: • a business plan; • information relating to the financial circumstances of the applicant and documents such as character references and financial accounts of the applicant company; • whether the applicant has been issued with a license in the State previously and the compliance history of same; • tax clearance certificates; • the location of servers and providers including contractors or other third parties engaged (if relevant); • details of financial information relating to the ability of the company to provide the activities or services for which it wishes to receive a license. One particular point of note is the proposal to introduce a

requirement that, in order to apply for a license, licensees’ and their operations must be based in either the European Economic Area, the UK, Northern Ireland or “any country or territory specified by the Authority” . This has the potential to be a very significant limitation and one of concern to operators outside the specific jurisdictions provided for in the Scheme. However, in practice it will depend on the extent of any list of specified countries or territories as developed by the Authority. Emphasis on responsible gambling and player safety measures There is a significant emphasis in the Scheme on player safety and responsible gambling. Unsurprisingly, these issues have also dominated the discussion during the current pre- legislative scrutiny of the Bill, which process is underway. Some of the proposed provisions for the safeguarding of players include: • A prohibition on operators providing any form of credit facility, or for retail operators providing ATM facilities on a premises offering a licensed gambling activity. • Powers for the Authority to develop regulations which place restrictions on spending limits. • The establishment of a self-exclusion register for individuals who wish to restrict themselves from gambling for months at a time. • Requirements on license holders to display certain safe gambling messages on their website and remote services and apps; • A prohibition on offering inducements such as free bets,

20 • IMGL Magazine • April 2022

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