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THE GAMBLING CONTROL BILL 2013 Department of Justice, Defence and Equality

LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Submission of The Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

August 30, 2013


The Gambling Control Bill 2013

LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Submission of The Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland to the Department of Justice, Defence and Equality

August 30, 2013


LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Summary – Gambling Control Bill 2013 Submissions 1.

Introduction

page 4

2.

Factual information and overview

page 6

3.

Head 15 – Granting of a Licence

page 9

4.

Head 2 – Transition

page 12

5.

Head 17 – Segregation

page 13

6.

Stakes and Winnings

page 15

7.

Definition – Amusement Machines

page 16

8.

Granting a 2B Licence – Amusement Hall/Arcade

page 18

9.

Head 17 - Opening Times

page 19

10. Head 17 – Gaming Machines in Bookmakers

page 20

11. Head 17 – Gaming Machines in Take-aways etc

page 22

12. Head 38 – Appeals against decision to reject application

page 24

13. Head 54-58 – Monitoring and Compliance

page 25

14. General – Local Authorities

page 26

15. Head 53 – Hours of business

page 27

16. Head 73 – Promotions and Gambling

page 28

17. Head 77 – Establishment of Fund

page 28

18. Head 20 – Bingo Licences

page 28

19. General Observation – Interim Gaming Authority

page 29

20. General

page 30

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 1 Introduction The submissions that will be made include the following

This submission is being made by the members of the Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland (LGAI) and has been prepared after advises and assistance from Mr Barry Galvin of Barry C Galvin & Son, Solicitors who have been retained by the Association.

• Security of Tenure Recognition should be given to existing licenced proprietors.

The members of the Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland are all holders of current Gaming Licences and Court Certificates and all operate in areas where Part 3 of the Gaming & Lotteries Act 1956 has been adopted. There are currently 57 licences held for the operation of Gaming Premises throughout the Republic of Ireland. To currently obtain a Gaming Licence, each licencee must apply to the courts on an annual basis and adhere to the requirements laid down by the courts and set in the current legislation, namely the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 and its amendments.

• Proposed segregation of amusement and gaming areas Access to gaming area should be through a supervised access-controlled doorway. • Transition The number of gaming machines permitted on current licences to remain the same for existing licence holders. • Stakes and winnings Raise the levels of winnings and stakes of gaming machines in line with the recommendations of the Report of the Casino Committee. • Opening hours Increase the opening hours in relation to Category 2A and 2B licence holders. • Amusement/Amusement with Prize Machines The current level of win value put on Amusement/Amusement with Prize (including cash) machines to be raised and the definitions contained in the Casino Committee Report in relation to same be adopted in terms or their content and implementation as set out in Section 7 (page 16).

It is respectfully submitted that the members of the LGAI, individually and collectively possess the highest levels of information, knowledge and expertise in the area of gaming and by association in most of the other areas of gambling covered by the general scheme proposed in the 2013 Bill. Mr Galvin’s firm has represented clients in the sector for many years and recently he was involved in substantial cases where the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 was in issue.

• Local Authorities The current situation whereby local councils can prohibit the use of Gaming Machines creates numerous difficulties and a new regime should be adopted. 4


LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

• Promotion and Gambling

• Prohibit the use of Gaming Machines in Bookmaker The Casino Committees recommendations should be adopted with regard to the total prohibition of Gaming Machines in bookmakers.

The LGAI submit that there should be a complete prohibition on any direct contact marketing. • Establishment of Fund The LGAI agree and welcome the

• Definitions The Definitions contained in the Bill should be strengthened so that the law cannot be circumvented.

establishment of such a fund. • Bingo Licences The LGAI are of the view that the same amount of VAT should apply to all

• Appeal against refusal of Application of a licence It is submitted that an appeal system to an independent body should be provided in the Bill.

gambling services. • Establishment of an Interim Gaming Regulation Authority The LGAI submit that the current situation is untenable and that an

• Monitoring and compliance The regime as set out in the Bill is unworkable and that the monitoring and compliance should include the involvement of An Garda Síochána.

Interim Authority should bring in certain amendments to the current legislation to prevent this on-going evasion of the law.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 2 Factual information for a court application by the existing 57 licenced operators currently can be summarised as follows:

2.1 Licenced gaming is carried out in 57 locations by members of the LGAI, all of whom are strictly regulated and tax-compliant.

• Confirm correct zoning and planning for the operation of a Gaming Arcade. • Adhere to the Opening and Closing Hours determined by the court.

Illegal gaming is being carried out in a variety of premises throughout Ireland. Some of the largest gaming halls are situated in Dublin city where the local authority has not authorised gaming by Section 13 of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956.

• Confirm that an annual inspection by the fire officer has been carried out to confirm compliance of the building. • Provide a complete listing to the court of the number and type of machines being made available for play.

Estimate of gaming machines by LGAI members •

Dublin/Wicklow

Galway Cork Donegal

Other counties at 350 average Total Licenced (2012) Total unlicenced

• Confirm tax clearance certification. 7,000

• Pay the sum of €505 per machine per annum, plus a premises licence of €630.

10,500 7,350

• Provide amusement facilities in addition to gaming.

24,850 5,661

• Provide for confirmation by An Garda Siochana that the licence has been operated in the previous 12 months in a correct manner.

19,189 (77%)

It is also the case that illegal gaming machines are present in a substantial number of licensed premises. No accurate country-wide information is available but a sample taken in County Meath in 2012 identified 432 unlicenced gaming machines on offer to the public in seven amusement arcades and 48 public houses and food take-away premises.

• Provide satisfaction to the general public that the licence has been operated in the correct manner in the previous 12 months.

2.2 General Overview of the Licenced Gaming Association members

Apart from demonstrating an appalling lack of enforcement, the County Meath exercise demonstrates the credibility of the general figures for unlicenced gambling machines in Ireland set out above.

The 57 licenced premises throughout the country are mainly located in holiday/ leisure and seaside locations and in most cases the businesses have been family-run

The current requirements and parameters 6


LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

“amusement with prize machines” ie, prize cranes, coin pushers, skill prize games, quiz prize games, redemption machines etc.

for several generations and are a part of the commercial fabric of these locations. Practically all of these businesses comprise the same traditional model and can be described as being two segregated business offerings. Firstly a “family amusement area” which is open to children and adults alike, and secondly a “Gaming Area” which is an area for strictly over 18’s.

Within the gaming area the machines there would be a combination of both traditional and electronic slot machines and automatic table games etc. Under the current legislation it is a requirement of the granting of a Gaming Licence that other forms of entertainment, ie amusements, are provided by the operator.

The family amusement area machines can be split into two main categories. Firstly, “amusement machines” ie video shooting games, car simulator and video games, pool, air hockey, table soccer, pinball, kiddies rides, Dance machines etc and secondly

An example of the responsible approach of the members of the LGAI is to be found by addressing the contents of the letter from Tiglin Challenge Limited dated 29th August 2013 (see next page).

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Tiglin, Ti g lin , A Ashford, shford, Co.Wicklow, Co.Wicklow, IIreland r e la n d T • +3 53 (0)404 (0)404 49683 49683 +353 F • +353 +353 (0)404 (0)404 40020 40020 admin@tiglin.ie E • admin@tiglin.ie www. w.tiglin.iee W • www.tiglin.ie

29/8/13 29/ 8/13

To Whom Whom It It May May Concern: C oncern: Ti glin aare re nnational ational aaddiction ddiction ccentre e n tre w ho pprovide rovide individuals individuals with with an an effective effective aand nd comprehensive comprehensive solution solution to to lifelife Tiglin who controlling gam bling ad diction pproblems. r o b le m s . controlling gambling addiction welcome the the publication publication of of the the General General SScheme cheme of of the th e G ambling Control Control Bill Bill 22013 013 aand nd are pleased pleassed to to see see the th e We welcome Gambling outline pproposals roposals for for safeguards safeguards aand nd funding funding bbyy the the Minister Minister for for JJustice ustice iinn rrelation elation tto o tthe he pprotection rotection of o vvulnerable u ln e r a b le outline persons from from risks risks to to their their well well being being arising arising from from gambling. gambling. persons ould strenuously strenuously object object to to the the pproposal ro p o sal o aming Machines Machines being being permitted permitted in in betting betting or or bookmakers’ bookmakers’ We w would off G Gaming offfices, sshops, hops, ttake-aways, ake-aways, restaurants, restaurants, hhotels, otels, ppublic ublic hhouses o u se s o shopping centre centre co ncourses. We We feel feel tthis h is w o u ld offices, orr shopping concourses. would represent a massive massive expansion expansion of of availability availabbility of of gaming gaming m achines o nto tthe he hhigh igh st reet an ould be in in total to ta l represent machines onto street andd w would contravention to to the the core core principle principle of of protecting protecting vulnerable vulnerable ppeople eople and and young young adults. adults. We We also also feel feel that that the th e contravention suggestion o llowing gaming g a m in g m achines iinto nto su ch premises premises iiss ttotally otally ddisregarding isregarding tthe he o bservations tto o nnot ot aallow llow tthem hem suggestion off aallowing machines such observations made in in the the “Regulating “Regulating Gaming Gaming in in Ireland” Irelannd” report. report. made re ccurrently u r r e n tly w orking with with the the Licensed Licensed Gaming Gaming Association A s s o c ia tio n o reland ((LGAI) LGAI) iinn rrelation elation tto o ssupport upport aand nd We aare working off IIreland informatio on pprogrammes rogrammes and and would would hope hope to to expand expand this this service service tto o tthe he aallll o th e r G ambling ssectors ectors ccovered overed in tthe he information other Gambling new legislation. le g is la t io n . new re aware aware that that ccurrently urrently 5577 gaming gaming licences licences are are ccurrently urrently iinn eexistence xistence iinn IIreland reland bbut ut hhundreds undreds of of We aare unlicensedd/illegal es tablishment aare re iinn o p ation. We per We ssupport upport fully fully the thee regulation regulation o aming es tablishments aand nd kno w unlicensed/illegal establishment operation. off ggaming establishments know that ssuch uch establishments establishments w ho o perate uunder nder licence licence and and within within th arameters of of the the law law aare re aalso ls o w illing to w ork that who operate thee pparameters willing work alongside tthe he T iglin sservices ervices tto o hhelp elp ssupport upport tthose h o se w ho are ad dicted tto o gam bling. SServices ervices tthat hat re mai a n uunregulated nregulated alongside Tiglin who addicted gambling. remain ignore their their responsibility responsibility tto o ssupport upport their their customers customers w ho may may be be struggling s t r u g g lin g w ith ggambling. a m b lin g . W ith tthe he rregulated e g u la t e d ignore who with With growth of of tthis his iindustry ndustry an he re venue tthat hat w ould bbee ge nerated tthrough hrough tthe he ssuggested uggested 10,000 10,000 pper er an num licence licence growth andd tthe revenue would generated annum fee bboth oth the the existing existing 5577 lic ence hholders olders aand nd tthe he 4400 casino’s casino’s ddue ue tto oo pen sshortly hortly wo uld be be ddisplaying isplaying ttheir heir wi llin g n e s s fee licence open would willingness trade legally legally aand nd rresponsibly. esponsibly. Doing Doing th tthis is th ey w ould not not only only offer offer th ublic th eir tr ade bbut ut aalso lso ssupport upport th to trade they would thee ppublic their trade thee vulnerable. vulnerable. Tiglin w ould also also llike ike tto om ake a recommendation recommendation that that the the same same responsibility responsibility tthat hat hhas as bbeen een ddisplayed isplayed bbyy tthe he eexisting x is t in g Tiglin would make gaming licence lice c nce hholders olders w ould bbee brought broughht to to the the bookmakers. bookmakers. IItt iiss o ur vi ew tthat hat tthese hese eestablishments stablishments w ho pprofit rofit gaming would our view who f om gambling fr gamblin li g should should show show solidarity sollidarityy and and ssupport upport to to their their vulnerable vulnerable customers. customers. from Thank you you for for taking taking the the time time tto o rread ead o ur views. v ie w s . Thank our

Yours truly, t r u ly , Yours

Philip Thompson Tho omppson Philip CEO Tiglin T ig lin CEO

Tiglin Ti glin C Challenge hallenge Limited Limited is is a ccompany ompany limited limited by guarantee guarantee and an nd registered registered in in Ireland Ireland no. 220213.. Registered Number Registered Office: Office: 42a 42a Pearse Pearse Street Street Dublin Dublin 2. 2. Charity Charity Registration Registration N umber CHY11596. CH Y11596. Directors: Ryan. Directors: P. P. Caffrey, Caffrey, M. M. Ashe, Ashe, L. L. Hogan, Hogan, Dr. D . J. Dr J. Latham, Latham, A. McCarthy McCarthy (Chairman), (Chairman), E. McCarthy, McCarthy, C. Ry an. Company Company Secretary: Secretary: A. A. Nevin. Ne v in .

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 3 Head 15 – Granting of Licence – Security of Tenure with comparison to the Intoxicating Liquor Acts: Head 2 It is proposed that there should be recognition of the existing licenced proprietors and their investment in the business.

Observation The entire thrust of the Bill, including the statement from Minister Shatter, indicates that nothing less than “high quality services” will be acceptable from the gaming sector. In that regard it is clear therefore that premises of the highest quality which are staffed by competent and experienced persons are essential. To implement this, ongoing gaming should be carried out by the persons in the industry best placed to do so, that is to say the gaming which is carried out by the 30 or so persons who actually hold 57 gaming licences which are for mainly substantial premises in various parts of the country. These persons have already demonstrated a proper approach to the various issues that arise and have invested substantially in premises (obtaining planning permission and fire certificates etc.), the training of responsible staff and appropriatelycalibrated gaming machines.

Proposal It is suggested that the new provisions for these businesses would be similar to the Intoxicating Liquor Acts regarding the supply of alcohol to members of the public in a strictly controlled and regulated regime. The Licencing Acts have for many years recognised that common sense and commerciality must apply where a person is considering investing in the licenced trade. In that regard a person who is considering investing in the licenced trade can apply to the courts for a declaration under Section 15 of the Intoxicating Liquor Act 1960 whereby that person can achieve certainty in his proposed business enterprise. He can assemble all of the necessary constituents which he considers will entitle him to be granted an Intoxicating Liquor Licence for a premises and he can then apply to the Circuit Court and request the court to examine the documents submitted and, if they are satisfactory (and having considered any objectors consequent on publication of the application), decide that the premises will be suitable and grant/refuse the application.

The Draft Bill does not at all take into consideration the past and present participation and investment of the licensed proprietors of gaming/amusement arcades. The Bill opens up a number of uncertain possibilities, in many cases without the possibility of participation or objective challenge. Some parts of the legislation might well be a disproportionate interference with the right to work/ private property. 9


LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

The declaration if granted will declare that, if the premises are constructed in accordance with the plans produced to the court (which will include planning documents and Fire Officer involvement), then a licence will be granted. The 1960 Act at Section 17 then provides for the final licencing stage. The only evidence required by the court at that stage is: A.

That the premises have been constructed in accordance with the plans submitted to obtain the Section 15 declaration and,

B.

The character of the applicant.

The court then grants the certificate. It is then sent to the Revenue Commissioners and they issue the Intoxicating Liquor Licence for the period until the next annual licencing sessions. The licence is in force until the next annual licencing sessions when it must be renewed and thereafter it must be renewed annually. Unless an objection is lodged in the District Court the licence is automatically renewed on application by the licensee on lodgment of the application forms, payment of the licence fee and on production of a Tax Clearance Certificate. If the Gardai or any person wishes to object to the granting of a licence then that objection is lodged in the District Court and the licence is not automatically renewed but the court will hear objections and, if they are well founded, the court has power to refuse the licence (there is an appeal against this refusal to the Circuit Court). It is submitted that this process, duly amended, would ideally suit the different aspects of gaming and would result in an efficient regime of licencing as well as providing security of tenure for genuine investors in the business.

Suitably drafted, the legislation would also include the proper objective parameters for the granting of a licence similar to that of the Intoxicating Liquor licencing provisions, where by public advertisement, the involvement of An Garda Síochána and the involvement of members of the public can occur in an open and transparent manner. Appropriate involvement of the OGCI could be provided for in the legislation. Applying these principles to the gaming/amusement arcades it is submitted that the proper process to be put in place would be that the District Court would be the court having jurisdiction over the granting of a licence in the first place. The OGCI would be the central licencing authority whereby a register would be maintained so that the public could ascertain what premises were in fact licenced and what type of licence would be in place. It would have an involvement similar to that of the Revenue Commissioners in renewal of licences in that unless objection was received the licences would be renewed automatically without the need for Court application on the presentation of the appropriate paperwork and renewal fees etc. The OGCI would also have authority to object to a renewal on its own motion. There should be provision in the legislation deeming all licences in existence to continue in existence in terms thereof for a period of say, four months from the commencement order of the Act. All licenced gaming and amusement arcades in force at the operative date would be deemed to have the licence continue in force for that four-month period and during that four-month period if applications which are in order are received, gaming/ amusement licences would be granted by the court under the special terms applicable for existing licence holders.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

It is submitted that an essential element of this process will include provision that unless there is creditable objective evidence to the contrary, the number of gaming machines should remain the same for existing licencees. Time will need to be extended for any delay in delivering judgment and or appeal (careful drafting will be needed to ensure that the competing objects contemplated by the foregoing will be achieved).

As proposed above, once a person/premises has been licenced, then the renewal, where there is no objection, will be a matter for the OGCI. Provisions need to be drafted providing for grounds and procedures for objection to the District Court. As drafted, the Bill provides for very vague grounds for the granting or the refusal of a license in the first instance and of course does not distinguish between the granting and renewal (see Head 37).

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 4 Head 2 Transition (2) Transition

Observation and Proposal

(i)

Betting: Any licence issued under the Betting Act and which is in place/ current at thecommencement of this Act remains valid until it expires and the conditions, terms, duties and liabilities (including proceedings for any breach) under which it was issued continue to apply.

(ii)

Gaming: Any licence issued under the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, and which is in place/current at the commencement of this Act remains valid until it expires and the conditions, terms, duties and liabilities (including proceedings for any breach) under which it was issued continue to apply.

As a logical sequituer to the submissions made above regarding security of tenure, it is submitted that appropriate arrangements be provided to ensure a smooth transition to a new proposed licencing regime. Having regard to the number of existing businesses which consist of gaming/amusement throughout the country which have been licenced for many years and which is the source of income and employment of a large number of persons that constitutional and EU-protected proprietary rights have been established and that these cannot be taken away except where done so, it is proportionate to the aims sought to be achieved and on payment of the appropriate compensation.

(iii)

Amusements: Any licence issued under the Finance Act 1992, Part II, Chapter III and which is in place/current at the commencement of this Act remains valid until it expires and the conditions, terms, duties and liabilities (including proceedings for any breach) under which it was issued continue to apply.

(iv)

Proceedings in train at commencement under any of the Acts at (i) – (iii) above shall not be affected by the new Act, i.e. they proceed to conclusion.

It is further submitted that the legislation should go to the appropriate lengths to ensure that these licenced businesses are protected as they are the bedrock of the gaming industry and that, subject to all the appropriate checks and balances, these businesses should have security of tenure and that the transition to the new regime should make appropriate provision for same.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 5 Head 17 – Part 6 (iii) – Segregation of gaming and amusement machines (iii)

Where category 2A and 2B licences are being operated in the same premises, or where the 2A licence is of the type coming within (i), there must be separation between the two types of machine [gaming, amusement] and there cannot be any connecting passages or doorways (even if locked) between the two facilities.

Observation In the past 57 years it has been a legal requirement for the granting of a Gaming Licence that amusement machines be operated in the same premises as gaming. These have been and still are traditionally separated from each other as age restriction is relevant in the gaming area. No rationale has been put forward to underpin this novel provision which flies in the face of the existing legislation and does not accord with what exists at this time in the various premises which are licenced for gaming under the 1956 G&L Act. The members of the LGAI are not aware of any particular reason for this fundamental change in theory and practice. The 57 existing businesses which consist of gaming/amusement throughout the country have been constructed and/or laid out to comply with the existing law. It is the case that there is in place at all of these premises appropriate arrangements to ensure that young persons can have access to the amusement machines and cannot have access to the gaming machines. The

premises normally have access between the two segregated areas so that the staff of the licencee can properly regulate the businesses. These staff constantly monitor the areas in question to ensure that there is no underage gaming by reason of the access. The members of the LGAI are not aware of any level of concern from the Garda Authorities regarding underage gaming because of the premises layout described. It is also the case that it is highly desirable that a person engaged in gaming would have the opportunity to intersperse his gaming activities with time spent at amusement machines. If the present wording of paragraph (6) (iii) of Head 17 is not altered it is highly likely that many of the existing 57 licence holders will have to either close one or other of the areas, move to a new premises or indeed carry out substantial works (if possible) to their existing buildings. This will involve extensive civil works, planning permission, landlords consent, additional works to comply with two new fire certificates, additional works to comply with two new disability certificates, additional toilets, additional staff areas etc. Therefore these may not be either physically or financially possible. Again no theory or rationale has been advanced for the fundamental changes proposed and no debate on the possible detrimental effect on existing businesses, has taken place.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

It is submitted that having regard to the 57 existing businesses which consist of gaming/amusement throughout the country which have been licenced for many years and which is the source of income and employment of a large number of persons, constitutional and EU protected proprietary rights have been established and that these cannot be taken away except where doing so, it is in the public interest, it is proportionate to the aims sought to be achieved and on payment of the appropriate compensation.

Proposal It is proposed that existing and future Gaming licence holders would be obliged to operate a supervised access-controlled doorway to separate amusement and gaming areas and any new arrangements be implemented for future premises as part of the planning process. These segregation arrangements in the existing licenced premises could be certified by a suitable person (eg architect) and submitted as part of the licence application process.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 6 Stakes and Winnings The members of the LGAI adopt with approval the detailed analysis and recommendations of the Casino Committee in this aspect of providing suitable parameters for gaming in the area of stakes and winnings. As identified in the Report of the Committee and which is public knowledge, the present maximum for a gaming machine is the equivalent 6d for a stake and 10 shillings for a prize. This is so far out of date that it is not being adhered to and to reinstate the credibility of the legislation and enforcement it is submitted that the maximum stake and the maximum win as set out in Table 14 at page 86 of the

Casino Report, that is to say a maximum stake of €5 and a maximum prize of €5,000 should be provided and that these should be initially fixed by statute. It is the case at this time that people can bet and win dramatically larger amounts of money in horse racing, bingo, lottery, online sports betting and even online slot machines. The more realistic amounts suggested will result in a situation that the licenced gaming operators can compete in a fair way. There could be provision that increased amounts could be provided by statutory instrument after appropriate consultation.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 7 Definition of an Amusement Machine Extract from definitions (p.7) Gambling Control Bill

provide for the novelty ‘redemption’ machines, cranes and coin-pusher machines. These machines are known to many members of the public as amusement machines and are currently available to all, regardless of age. If the gaming regulatory authority is to treat these novelty machines as AWP ‘gaming machines’ then they are to be permitted only in licensed gaming arcades and not amusement halls. If they are to be treated as ‘amusement machines’ then legislation will need to provide for the means to host such machines in amusement halls. ‘Amusement machines’ and ‘AWP machines’ are two separate entities. Ireland’s current legislation does not provide for this fact. With further exploration and analysis separate legal definitions may follow along. The current definitional overlap, however, should be acknowledged and unravelled accordingly.

“amusement machine” means (i)

a mechanical, electrical or electronic machine or device, operated by the insertion of a player card, a coin, a token, a credit or debit card or by the use of credits,

(ii)

being a machine that is intended exclusively for amusement purposes,

(iii)

where, if the player obtains anything representing money, goods or any other benefit other than the opportunity to continue to use the machine, it is of nugatory value.

Observation The definitions at (ii) and (iii) above may well be contradictory and do not adequately reflect what exists at present . An amusement machine that is intended exclusively for amusement purposes should be defined as a different category and distinct from an “amusement with prize” machine on which one can obtain a benefit representing money. This distinction was highlighted in the report of the Casino Committee Section 4.6.29 (below) and where the Committee suggested definitions as listed below. 4.6.29 In drafting gaming legislation, the potential confusion between ‘amusement machines’ and ‘AWP machines’ must be given careful consideration. One matter requiring further deliberation is how the gaming regulatory authority should

Proposal It is proposed that the two definitions namely “amusement machines and “amusement with prize machine” contained in the report be adopted in terms or their content and implementation as set out below. ‘Amusement Machine’ means a mechanical, electrical or electronic machine or device, operated by the insertion of a coin or amusement machine token or by the use of credits, which is intended exclusively for amusement purposes and not for gambling 16


LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

purposes and from which the player can obtain nothing representing money, goods or any other benefit other than the opportunity to continue to use the machine. ‘Amusement-with-Prize(s) Machine’ means a mechanical, electrical or electronic machine or device, operated by the

insertion of a coin or token or device or by the use of credits, which is intended for the amusement of the player only and from which the player can obtain a monetary prize (max. €10) or goods to the value of (max. €20) e.g. crane amusement machines, pushers, redemption machines.

17


LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 8 Granting of a licence 2B – Amusement Hall or Arcade page 83 of Gambling Control Bill 2013 Observation The rationale and definitions in Section 6 (page 15) should be applied for the current commercial operation of a modern family amusement arcade which is outlined in description of the machines in Section 2.2. (page 6).

Reference is made to the submissions set out hereafter regarding the prohibition of gaming in book-makers offices, liquor licenced premises or in take-away outlets. It is submitted that amusement machines and amusement-with-prize machines could properly be permitted and licenced.

Proposal

Other definitions

It is proposed that the definition should read “fixed facility providing amusement and amusement with prize machines, open to adults and young persons”

We would maintain that all other definitions be made totally robust in order to prevent the circumvention of the law.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 9 Head 17 – Opening Times for types of Licences and p82-83 of Bill for opening times

Proposal

are the times that are currently operated and licenced by the court and to which they have scaled their business over past decades. It is also important to point out that the commercial turnover time slice of 11.00pm till 2.00am, specifically on weekend nights in the operating business is pivotal to the commercial viability of the industry. Additionally on a case by case basis there is provision for the OGCI to grant a seasonal extension to allow for festivals and other activities associated with holiday/leisure and seaside locations. It is also important to point out there is no alcohol available and it provides a welcome alternative of late night entertainment. Additionally, the fact that main commercial competition comes from the same machines can be played online 24 hours a day should be taken into consideration.

It is submitted that these times are too restrictive and that current general operating for a 2A (current Gaming Licence) opening times of 10.00am and closing time of 2.00am should continue to the existing licence holders specifically because these

It is also proposed that the closing time for a 2B licence should be 10.30pm all year round with the additional facility to grant a seasonal extension to allow for festivals and other activities associated with holiday/leisure and seaside locations.

Under a Category 2A Licence the opening hours are set out as follows: “(i) from 1 May to end Sept, – not before 10.00 and not after 1.30am (ii) rest of the year, not before 10.00am, not after 12.00 midnight” Under a Category 2B Licence the opening times are that of the same as that of a category 2A Licence above however are set at 10.30pm and 9.00pm respectively. As previously outlined the Licenced Gaming Association members have adhered to the opening hours laid down by the courts while their unlicenced competitors have had no such restriction and indeed many of which operate 24 hours.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 10 Head 17 Licence (2G) Gaming Machines in Bookmakers page 83-84 of Bill It is submitted that the gaming machines should be absolutely prohibited in bookmakers. The Report of the Casino Committee considered this issue in great depth and the comments of the Committee in recommending that gaming and betting be treated as two completely separate types of gambling activity are couched in the strongest terms to be found in the report. Reference is made to page 82 of the report where in making of this recommendation at paragraph 6.6.6 it says: “the Committee recommends that “gaming” and “betting” be treated as two completely separate types of gambling activity, which raise very distinct regulatory issues and which should be treated separately in any regulatory arrangement. The Committee considers that this is fundamental for the regulation of gaming. The Committee recommends that there should be no betting of any kind permitted on or in any licenced gaming premises. Likewise there should be no gaming activity of any kind permitted on or in any betting or bookmakers’ premises” : The report continues at page 83 identifying reasons for the strict regulation of gaming machines by confining them to gaming arcades. For example, at paragraph 4.6.11 it will be noted that the Casino Committee “strongly opposes to the spread of gaming machines into a betting environment”. The report at paragraph 4.6.12 identifies that there are approximately 1,170 bookmakers

in the state and the prospect of gaming machines or FOBTs in bookmakers offices, even if limited to a maximum of four per office as in Great Britain, has the potential for serious repercussions in terms of problem gambling as identified by studies in numerous other jurisdictions where proliferation of gaming machines is permitted. The proposed regulatory regime of permitting these in the Draft Bill is not supported by any studies or articulation of policy or principle. The public policy issues have been identified by the committee at paragraph 4.6.14 at page 84 of their report. 4.6.14 The public policy issues around the placement of FOBTs in bookmakers’ offices can be summarised under five headings: (a) Social The placement of such machines in an unregulated environment such as a bookmaker’s office is socially undesirable because there is ample evidence that permitting the proliferation of such machines outside of gaming arcades may give rise to negative social consequences. (b) Tax Bookmakers attract a favourable tax rate of 1%. Gaming, worldwide, attracts a higher tax rate. (c) Planning The possible planning consequences arising from the placement of such machines in

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

bookmakers’ offices and the conversion of those offices to combination betting/ gaming arcades were not considered by the Committee during their deliberations. The question therefore arises as to whether such activities might constitute a change of use under the planning regulations. (d) Regulatory If bookmakers can engage in gaming then, logically, gaming establishments should be permitted to engage in betting. Gaming and betting require different regulatory approaches. The Committee is of the view that these activities should remain separate for the reasons that are outlined in this report. (e) Political It is undesirable that such sweeping changes should be made to public policy, with potentially significant adverse social consequences, in the absence of appropriate decisions on these matters by the Executive and the Oireachtas.

The Casino Committee stated its opinion that FOBTs (now somewhat superseded by electronic gaming machines) are to be treated as gaming machines and should not be permitted in bookmaker’s offices and that gaming machines be permitted in casinos and gaming arcades only. They should not be permitted in shops, takeaways, restaurants, hotels, public houses or any other premises. The placement of such gaming machines outside of a tightly-regulated environment is not desirable and may give rise to social problems as well as a proliferation of machines which it will be impossible to regulate or control.

Proposals That gaming machines should not be permitted in bookmarkers offices,the recommendations made by the Casino Committee detailed above are fully supported.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 11 (Head 17) also see page 80 of Bill “Licences that may be issued” 2E, 2F and 2G Licences P.83-84 The factual position “on the ground” at this time is that there is widespread gaming carried on by the use of gaming machines in a variety of different manners. Some of the gaming machines are in large scale commercial premises where upwards of 500 gaming machines are in open use every day which is completely contrary to the existing legislation. In this regard, it is astounding that the law is not being enforced and, as has been identified by the Casino Committee, this brings the enforcement of law generally into disrepute. It also militates against other persons complying with the statutory licencing regime and the accompanying (very significant) level of licencing fees to be discharged. It further permits unsuitable premises which do not have the planning/fire officer requirements of the licensed premises whereby health and safety incidents may occur which the relevant authorities have a duty to prevent. It is also the case on the ground that there are very many gaming machines in licensed premises, takeaway outlets and bookmakers in direct contravention of the legislation, and to which the same objections and criticisms can be made. It is submitted that the thrust of the Bill does not reflect the findings and recommendations of the Casino Committee as set out in their report and no research or other criteria have been articulated to support the approach which is in general completely opposite to the

recommendations of the Casino Committee whereas the recommendations themselves are grounded on research of informed experts. In this respect the LGAI are closely working with Tiglin who are the national addiction centre and provide “individuals with an effective and comprehensive solution to life controlling gambling addiction problems”(see letter, page 8). Tiglin point out that the allowance of such gaming machines in premises such as that of bookmakers offices, shops, take-aways, restaurants, hotels, public houses and shopping centres would create an undesirable situation whereby gaming machines would be available to the most vulnerable and young people in society. It is the case that there are three major considerations surrounding the proposed legislation. The first is that gambling is addictive and in its extreme cases can be more damaging to the individual, his family and society than substance abuse such as drugs or alcohol. This is so well recognised as not to require repetition. The second consideration is that gambling, once properly regulated, can be an enjoyable leisure activity for persons. The third consideration is that the gambling industry is a dynamic industry and a balance must be achieved between, providing such an industry and protecting young and vunerable persons. As regard the gaming industry therefore it is essential that only suitable persons and

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

places are available for gaming. At this time most of the licenced gaming arcades are in holiday/leisure destinations. Another aspect of the control/regulation requirements can be gleamed from an examination of the nature and extent of objections made by An Garda Síochána where there are applications for new licences. It is the case that An Garda Síochána have identified that it is improper to set up gaming arcades in deprived or marginal areas and have persistently and successfully objected to such licences. The new act should make provision for proper assessment for the granting of new gaming licences (as well as for the renewals) and this guidance will have to identify all of the relevant issues. Also against this background the provisions of the bill permitting gaming machines in bookmakers, public houses, takeaways and public places runs completely contrary to the recommendations of the Casino Committee and it is submitted are contrary to the proper regulation of the industry. Apart from anything else, the operation of such machines will not be regulated by

experienced persons conscious of the possible attendant problems with gambling as outlined above, it generally offends against all of the underlying principles and findings of the proper regulation of the gaming sector. Reference is made to paragraph 1.5.17 of the Casino Report where the recommendation is unambiguously in favour of not permitting gaming machines in betting offices and to quote as follows: “The Committee recommends that gaming machines (GMs) should only be permitted in the licensed environment of a casino or gaming arcade. In addition to not being permitted in betting or bookmakers offices, gaming machines should not be permitted in shops , take-aways, restaurants, hotels, public houses or any other premises.”

Proposal That gaming machines should not be permitted in shops, take- aways, restaurants, hotels, public houses, shopping centre concourses or any other premises (see Section 6, page 15).

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 12 Head 38 – Appeals against decision to reject application Under Head 38 of the bill where an applicant’s application for a licence is refused his only recourse is by appeal to the Chief Officer of the OGCI where his decision will be that of either deeming the application valid or invalid and that no further appeal shall be available other than on a ”point of law of exceptional public interest to the High Court”. This may be unconstitutional. Reference is made to the recognised legal structure in

place for Intoxicating Liquor licences and the submissions at Section 3 (page 9) and by extension Section 4 (page 12) are repeated. The licencing process should be an application in the first instance to the District Court and thereafter by automatic renewal by the OGCI unless an objection is made where the decision process will be in the District Court (and on appeal to the Circuit Court).

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 13 Head 54-58 Monitoring and Compliance Observation and proposal This part of the Bill contains a detailed regime which it is submitted is not an appropriate regime of monitoring enforcement and prosecution. It is the case at this time that there has been failure of enforcement of the existing legislation to the extent approximated at Section 2.1 (page 6). It is submitted that there is no realistic prospect of enlisting a sufficient number of authorised officers to inspect and monitor the number of premises and the number of machines in those premises in an efficient or effective manner. Not only would they be required to inspect and monitor premises/machines which would be licenced but they would be required to carry out sufficient investigations and enquiries to ensure that unlicenced gaming was not being carried out in any other premises. This duty would only be part of the overall suggested monitoring and compliance remit of the OGCI. It is submitted that there is no realistic possibility of recruiting and training the large number of persons that would be required. There is also the case that, apart from inspections etc mentioned above, it would be necessary to put in place a sufficient number of persons with legal/prosecutorial skills in order to implement enforcement (which should be through the courts in any event).

There already exists within this State an efficient investigation body namely An Garda Síochána. They extend to all quarters of the state and have widespread local knowledge including skill and experience which cannot efficiently be transferred to the central body, namely the OGCI as contemplated. It is submitted that there is no possibility that the OGCI could possibly provide a suitably-effective regime of constant inspection and enforcement of gaming. Having regard to the existing figures mentioned above regarding unlicensed gaming, (page 6) it would be quite impossible to police the gaming industry as contemplated by the OGCI. It is also the case that there should be an immediate power of seizure and confiscation of unlicensed gaming machines or gaming machines being used in an unlicensed premises. Again this could only be carried out effectively by the involvement of police with the necessary resources and experience in this area of enforcement. In addition to the detection and summary enforcement such as seizure, there needs to be the possibility of summary prosecutions in all the courts of Ireland stretching from Castletownbere to Malin Head. There is already in place within the DPP’s/local state solicitors prosecution service the competence and resources to carry out these prosecutions. There is also the issue of respecting the statutory prosecutorial role of the DPP and the involvement of his office.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 14 General Observation – Local Authority It is noteworthy that the Gaming Bill has failed to deal with a fundamental aspect of the present licencing/regulatory regime on gaming, that is to say that no gaming shall be permitted in any county or county borough unless the local authority resolves under Section 13 of the 1956 Act to adopt it for that area. Section 13 therefore allows a local authority to adopt Part III of the 1956 Act by resolution in respect of the whole or a part of its administrative area and may also by resolution rescind such resolution. This is dealt with comprehensively in the Casino Committee report at paragraph 2.4.1. The comments regarding the vulnerability of people and gambling addiction in the report are also relevant. Clearly the process where a local authority prohibits gaming machines must not unfairly discriminate against persons who would wish to avail of gaming or have a gaming business in a particular area which objectively would not be objectionable on any measurable criteria. The Casino Committee have clearly

identified that there is considerable difficulty in identifying what persons would be best placed to decide on a prohibition that having taken the view that the arguments against the retention of the current powers available to local authorities are overwhelming, recommends that the local authorities continue to have an important role but through the planning process. The Committee identifies significant difficulties and the requirement for significant changes in legislation for that to be effective. A number of possible yardsticks are identifiable in the report and it is submitted that these yardsticks are too general to be the basis for an application and that until such time as more specific criteria are identified, then general principles should be enunciated in the Bill and these should be the basis upon which the courts can grant applications, and possibly if change of user or planning permission is required, these could by statute be the necessary ingredients for the grant or refusal of a planning application.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 15 Head 53 : Hours of business (3)

In all cases where the table applies, it shall be presumed that the periods mentioned apply each day of the week, but that, in each case, the premises will close for at least two days in each calendar year and it shall be further presumed, unless the licence holder and the OGCI agree to the contrary, that the two days in question shall be Christmas Day and Good Friday.

in holiday/leisure and seaside locations and for this reason open on Good Friday as they offer entertainment in the form of family amusements and gaming. In the case of holiday locations particularly the availability of entertainment is paramount to attracting visitors who support not only the venue but the locality in general. It is important to note that no alcohol is available in gaming/ amusement arcades.

Proposal Observation The 57 licenced gaming premises throughout the country are mainly located

It is proposed that gaming/amusement arcades remain open as they currently do on Good Friday.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 16 Head 73 : Promotions and Gambling Observation

Proposal

Currently many companies market gambling events, services and inducements directly to individuals by way of text, emails and social media.

The members of the LGAI are totally opposed to the direct contact marketing ofany gambling events or services by way of direct communication to individuals and feel the prevention of such activity is for the protection of vulnerable persons from risks to their well-being arising from gambling.

Section 17 Head 77 Establishment of Fund Proposal The members of the LGAI very much welcome the establishment of the fund and acknowledge the purposes of the fund. We would very much appreciate the consideration of the national gambling

addiction centre Tiglin when considering the allocation of funding. The LGAI are working together currently with Tiglin and feel their countrywide services are the best available.

Section 18 Head 20 Bingo Licences Proposal It is proposed that “commercial” bingo no longer be exempt from VAT on its proceeds of sales.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 19 General Observation – Establishment of an Interim Gaming Regulatory Authority of the LGAI who submit they should be implemented without delay:

Observation As demonstrated in section 2 (page 6) it is blatantly obvious that the current situation is untenable not only for the existing 57 licenced gaming operators but also for the protection of the public at large and immediate resolve is needed. To this end the members of the LGAI totally support the idea in the interim period (until the new Act is in force) to the establishment of an interim authority as suggested in 4.17 and 4.18 (below) of the Regulating Gaming in Ireland Report in order to bring certain interim amendments to the current legislation to prevent the ongoing systematic evasion of the law. These would be specifically to: • Protect the jobs of the people working in licenced gaming/amusement arcades • To stop substantial revenue being lost to the state • To prevent unlicenced slot machines being operated in unlicenced premises • To bring clarity to An Garda Siochana, Revenue Commissioners and the local authorities in relation to the licencing and enforcement of the law in relation to the prohibition of unlicenced slot machines • Prevent new unlicenced operators entering the market • Prevent unlicenced operators currently operating illegal 24-hour gaming to protect the vulnerable from risks to their well being arising from gambling. The following parts of the report are quoted with the approval of the members

4.17 The Establishment of an Interim Gaming Regulatory Authority Recommendation: The Committee recommends that once the Government has established the public policy parameters for the new regulatory system, it should establish an Interim Gaming Regulatory Authority, based within the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, but with representatives from other relevant Government Departments, in order to develop the regulatory system. 4.18 Proposed Response to Current Developments Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Government send a strong message to those currently engaged in casino-style or other unlicensed gaming activities to the effect that currently unlicensed operators should be advised that, in a new and strict regulatory environment, they must not assume that they will receive an operator’s licence. The fact that they are engaged in such activities at present will not necessarily, under any new regime, guarantee them a licence. Recommendation: The Committee recommends that the Interim Gaming Regulatory Authority which it proposes should be established to develop the regulatory system, as well as other matters, should review the current position as regards such activities with a view to reporting to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, and if necessary, recommend appropriate interim amendments to the criminal law to deal with these issues.

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LICENCED GAMING ASSOCIATION OF IRELAND

Gambling Control Bill 2013 – Submission on behalf of Licenced Gaming Association of Ireland

Section 20 General The Draft Bill contains many fundamental changes and sometimes vague and complicated concepts. The members of the LGAI submit that it should be radically simplified to adopt the submissions contained herein so as to facilitate an early overhaul of the sector in a structured fashion by adopting best practices already in being in Ireland, clarifying and simplifying the law, preserving existing properly-licenced businesses, and addressing illegal operations by permitting them to be licenced where appropriate or closing them down where thought necessary.

any further information or clarification thought desirable and will be pleased to appear in public sessions of committee meetings if invited.

The members of the LGAI and their legal representatives will be pleased to furnish

Brian Freney Chairman

Dated this 30th day of August 2013

For and on behalf of the Licensed Gaming Association of Ireland

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LGAI submission on Gambling Control Bill 2013