Irish Government proposes new maximum stake and payout limits for gaming machines

The Irish Government has proposed a €500 limit to maximum payouts on gaming terminals, down from the €750 put forward in March.

The current limit of €5.00, which remains unchanged since 1956, has been described – according to a government spokesperson – as “archaic, unpractical, and unimplementable”.

The Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has, therefore, outlined a number of changes to the bill which determines both the maximum payouts and maximum stakes for the machines, which is currently being reviewed by the Oireachtas.

As well as the €5.00 cap on payouts, the Gaming and Lotteries Bill also currently limits the maximum stake for any game to a sum of 6 pence per player, or around 3 cent in modern currency. Flanagan has proposed a new maximum stake limit of €5, down from the €10 suggested in March.

The minimum age to place a bet would also be increased from 16 to 18 under new proposals.

The slight backdown comes as a number of lobby groups across Ireland had expressed that the previous proposals did not go far enough in tackling problem gambling, and that further measures were required.

Earlier this year, a Northern Irish government department launched a public consultation on the creation of a new gambling policy and the effects of problem gambling.

The public consultation will help gain an insight into the policies needed to combat problem gambling in the country. Operators across Northern Ireland have already voluntarily agreed to implement the £2 maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).