🔥 New law will not destroy bingo in Ireland, says Minister

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The Bingo Association of Ireland claims that a new law could jeopardise commercial bingo nationwide, which is enjoyed by people a.


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The Bingo Association of Ireland claims that a new law could jeopardise commercial bingo nationwide, which is enjoyed by people a.


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The Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill is going before the Dáil on Wednesday. The group says the so-called 'Bingo Bill' will strictly limit.


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Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill [Seanad]: Order for Report The people who run bingo, whether it is a small, medium or large.


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THE GOVERNMENT HAS has made revisions to its amendment of the Gaming and Lotteries Bill that proposed to reduce bingo operators'.


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The Bingo Players' Association in Ireland launched a campaign against This is due to recent amendments to the Gaming & Lotteries act


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Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill [Seanad]: Order for Report The people who run bingo, whether it is a small, medium or large.


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The Bingo Players' Association in Ireland launched a campaign against This is due to recent amendments to the Gaming & Lotteries act


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The Bingo Association of Ireland claims that a new law could jeopardise commercial bingo nationwide, which is enjoyed by people a.


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David Stanton says 'people do not play bingo based solely on the Thu, Jul 2, he is introducing in the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill are modest and will have no impact on bingo games throughout the country. The current legislation, the Gaming and Lotteries Act is deeply.


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Perhaps, as colleagues have said, this is a reflection of the reality in that many people find in cases like this Bill that there is much ambiguity and people may not be absolutely certain what it covers. Certain clubs, mainly in Dublin city but also elsewhere, have roulette tables and card games such as poker. I support Deputy Martin Kenny's amendment. Those clubs are not governed in the context of gaming activities by the Gaming and Lotteries Act , by this Bill or any other enactment or law. I will take the Minister of State's word for it and withdraw the amendment. Does this not speak to the cause of the trouble because there is uncertainty over what right the legislation provides to control the amount of money to be given for charitable use? Until now, the Act has not done anything to in any way inhibit the operations of these clubs. Reading the Bill before us, many people feel it is open to interpretation. I am sure colleagues agree with me on that. The Deputy can have as long as he likes as long as he is referring to the amendment. I have responded to the various numerous representations I received from those involved in private members' clubs. I have also been contacted by many people who are involved in private members' clubs. They are very concerned that this Bill will have an effect on their businesses. It is valid for people to have concerns and it is understandable. The reference to private members' clubs and who is covered by the legislation is causing much confusion. People can be hit by the crossfire on this where there is a detrimental effect on these clubs that is unintended. At the same time, we must be careful that there is a balance with the amount of money given out and we do not stop people playing whatever game or activity has been organised. I am trying to close this so there no interpretation required. They could be closed down as of today even before the Bill is passed. A new section 9A of the principal Act as inserted by section 4 of this Bill provides for a modern but limited approach for gaming under permit from a Garda superintendent. That he had to do so shows the uncertainty and lack of clarity in the context of what is being proposed. I will also only take one minute. I specifically refer to the amount taken in, the portion that an organiser can take to run the event, and the amount of prize money. I know that, but a Derry girl had a song called "All Kinds of Everything" that had national prominence. I will call Deputy Grealish in a moment. We all want to see money made available for charitable use and many events have the purpose of raising much-needed funds. My response will be similar to that which I gave on Committee Stage. I have serious concerns about the amendment. We are in the process of passing legislation. Above all, they are worried about their traditions and way of life. In future, we will have to address, honestly and openly, the issue of how we might license and regulate casinos in the context of the work under way to reform and modernise our gambling laws comprehensively. I thank Deputy Martin Kenny for tabling the amendment. Amendment No. We are not straying into Second Stage speeches. We want to allow clubs to have clarity of purpose. I also thank Deputy Martin Kenny for tabling this amendment. I hope Deputy Mattie McGrath will be equally focused. Sometimes people think that the term "private members' clubs" refers to local GAA, soccer or rugby clubs.

Amendments Nos 1 to 3, inclusive, are related. There is an awful lot of uncertainty regarding the matter mentioned in the amendment and we need the Minister of State to clarify the position.

However, the amendment source specifically to make it explicit in this legislation that they are not going to be dealt with in any way that would harm the businesses that they run.

Let us not take an approach whereby it is a case of "Live horse and you'll gaming and lotteries amendment bill 2020 bingo grass". The first thing is to set gaming and lotteries amendment bill 2020 bingo a definition of such clubs. I hope that the Minister of State can clarify whether they can already be closed as of now.

Such information would better assist the superintendent to consider the nature and character of the applicant to guard against any potential attempt at fraudulent or criminal usage of gaming permits. The Taoiseach was asked about this earlier.

We must be conscious of what we are debating.

There is concern that there might be a different superintendent with a different interpretation of this legislation. There is an issue whereby many private members' clubs are very fearful that this legislation will reach into what they do. Does this not speak to the core issue, which is the dividing of money? I have made the point repeatedly that the operation of such clubs enjoys a constitutional protection, that of free association. We often pass legislation and are ridiculed for it. I expressed my concern on proposals similar to amendments Nos. I seek assurances from the Minister of State that this will have no impact whatever on the private members' clubs and that they will remain open. There is concern about this, although I know previous amendments have been withdrawn or not moved. I went there to be sure and to get that advice. In page 6, line 34, to delete "to be carried on. I also support Deputy Martin Kenny's amendment and its definition of private members' clubs as being "a voluntary and unincorporated association of persons over the age of eighteen years". Will the Minister of State make a commitment to the House and to me that this will not impact on the private members' clubs? If the Minister of State can assure me that it does not, we will look at that. I call Deputy Michael Healy-Rae and ask him to focus on the private members' clubs. The issue is causing considerable confusion so hopefully during the debate we will get clarity on definitions of precisely who is included, who is included under a permit or licence and who requires neither if the prize fund is sufficiently small. We are speaking specifically to the amendment and it is all Deputies can refer to. People are concerned and we have met people who have organised many bingo events, and I am sure Deputies from other parties have met them as well. They are fearful that if the Bill passes, all the clubs will be forced to close down leading to the loss of over jobs. It is clear. He took one minute to explain what was in the amendment. The legislation would not be appropriate to deal with the particular aspects of regulation of these games. People are very concerned about these clubs. Over people work in these clubs. I see the role of Government as encouraging people who create employment and provide jobs for themselves and others and who provide a service. Many of these establishments seem to hold themselves to be casinos and I am not in favour of any measure that would facilitate commercial casino operations by the back door at this time. My advice is that this Bill has no impact whatever on the matters in question and they are not mentioned in any other legislation either. To the best of my knowledge, many of these establishments are not member-based clubs in the same way as we might understand sports clubs, for example. However, the Minister of State has given an assurance. If the Minister of State can give me that assurance from the Attorney General, I suppose we must take it at face value. However, the clubs have not been closed down. We must think of the unintended consequences. The membership is frequently not a stable feature and it may vary considerably from night to night. This position is supported by the advice I have received from the Office of the Attorney General. It is the appropriate place to deal with the matter and I have been advised that these amendments could open the way to all kinds of unintended consequences. Nos 1 to 3, inclusive, will be discussed together. It allows for gaming for a charitable or philanthropic cause and for profit. The amendment relates to private members' clubs. I thank Deputy Martin Kenny for tabling these amendments. As Deputy Mattie McGrath outlined, legislation has often been passed here and there have been unforeseen casualties. Clubs may have many other activities but this plays a big part. I also have concerns for people who are operating businesses of this sort and who are fearful regarding the jobs they create and the service they provide. Those to whom I refer are concerned that this section will have a detrimental effect on their businesses. If that is the situation, it is unfortunate. It is Deputy Martin Kenny's amendment. They have met with the Minister of State and others. This legislation may have many and it would be our fault if we let it go through without proper scrutiny and debate. We must be very careful. If we went down that road now, these establishments would not be subject to any form of licensing terms and conditions in respect of gaming. I ask the Deputy to consider withdrawing them on that basis. That was very focused. In common with other aspects which the Government has proposed and which we have already raised and will come to again - including those of us who raised concerns and who wanted to have a vote at the outset - to highlight that there is such a lack of clarity in the proposal before us. Those involved are very concerned about their clubs, many of which are voluntary, and they are worried about jobs.