Online Gambling Sites Require More Scrutiny

The Government is scrutinizing online betting companies that have been questioned by the opposition TD after revelations that the state has never refused licence to an internet bookmaker. A junior minister in the Department of Justice, David Stanton, said that all of the 133 applicants who applied for a certificate of personal fitness, to launch an online bookmaker, in Ireland, had been successful. The individuals have since gone on and set up 67 companies since 2015, when licensing requirements were introduced. Mr Stanton, who is responsible for superintending the delayed Gambling Control Bill of 2013, responded to a question put from Catherine Murphy. The Social Democrat TD stated that proper regulation was urgently needed “to strike the right balance between fun and danger” of online gambling. She continued that in this age where there is a proliferation of betting opportunities that now extends from televisions, ads on billboards, sponsorship, by using desktop and mobile devices daily she questions if there is sufficient scrutiny given to the awarding of licences. Ms. Murphy also stated that the government needs to monitor the usage of customers data by the online gambling companies, after an investigation conducted by The Times earlier this month had revealed that Paddy Power Betfair and some other online bookmakers were building and processing profiles of their customers using intrusive trackers and social media background checks. The Bookmakers said that they have only used the information for anti-fraud purposes, but the campaigners stated that the tactics were unfair, that they claimed they had used the information to prevent successful gamblers from winning and to push punters that were losing to bet more.