Slot machine laws:
These rules are applicable to slot machines.

Regulations for gambling in Ireland are legally established. The guidelines for slot machines and other games of chance are outlined in the so-called State Treaty on Gambling. Previously, the rules only applied to land-based casinos, but in 2021, online slots were also regulated for the first time. We have compiled all the important regulations for you.

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Federal Laws on Slot Machines: These regulations apply throughout Ireland.

Der Glücksspielstaatsvertrag setzt Rahmenbedingungen für Glücksspielanbieter, die für alle Spielhallen in Deutschland gelten. Die Regelungen wurden von allen Bundesländern gemeinsam im Jahr 2008 beschlossen, seitdem wurden dem Gesetzestext einige Änderungen und Neuregulierungen hinzugefügt. Die letzte Neuregulierung wurde erst kürzlich beschlossen und trat im Sommer 2021 in Kraft.

The objectives of the State Treaty on Gambling

  • Limitation and Überwachung des Glücksspielslimiting illegal gambling
  • Prevention and Bekämpfung von Spielsucht
  • Guarantee of Jugend- und Spielerschutz
  • Schutz der Spielerto prevent fraud and manipulation
Die Ziele des Glücksspielstaatsvertrags

What do the current laws on slot machines say?

Currently, there are regulations in place for casinos, gaming halls, restaurants, and betting providers. The legislation also mentions the inclusion of various media-based contests. The current guidelines are broadly applicable and encompass not only slot machines but the entire operation of land-based casinos. Consequently, the following applies to gambling providers:

  • You need to obtain a gambling permit from the state.
  • Minors are not allowed to engage in play.
  • Providers must ensure transparency in their operations and provide interfaces for independent auditing of all gaming processes.
  • The protection of youth and players must be ensured through various measures in order to Gambling addiction To prevent (e.g. through staff training, age checks, promoting addiction support services, implementing player bans)
  • It is mandatory to provide game-related information (such as game costs, prize amounts, payout rates, winning and losing probabilities).

New laws for online slots: The gambling regulation reform 2021

Recently, representatives from all states came to an agreement on a renewed update of the slot machine law. New regulations have been introduced for sports betting, virtual slot games, as well as online poker and casino games. The rules for online slot machines are detailed in the text of the law and came into effect on July 1, 2021. Here, we will briefly summarize them for you:

  • A monthly deposit limit of 1000 euros.
  • A maximum bet of 1 Euro per game round.
  • Each round of the game must last for at least 5 seconds.
  • There should not be an autoplay function.
  • Winning large sums of money is prohibited in slot machine games.
  • Following each hour of gameplay, players must take a 5-minute break.

Furthermore, there are additional regulations for online casinos and providers of online slots.

  • Activity file
  • Game lock system
  • Panic button
  • Monitoring gaming behavior
  • Surveillance by the new Irish gaming authority.
Neue Gesetze für Online Slots: Die Glücksspielneuregulierung

Get a closer look at the detailed new regulations for online slot machines.

Even though the regulation has been in effect since July 1, 2021, gambling providers have been given a longer period of time to implement the rules, thanks to a transitional phase. Casino operators have until 2023 to apply for a Irish gambling license. The number of licenses available is limited, and only providers who adhere to the new requirements on their websites will have a chance at obtaining a Irish license.

The most significant change for gambling enthusiasts in Ireland is likely that online casinos will initially only offer online slots.

The approval of online table games is determined individually by each state, resulting in significant variations in the offerings. It will take some time for the online gambling market to settle into a new structure.

The creation of a new state gambling authority is underway to assist with the implementation of the myriad regulations outlined in the intricate new State Treaty on Gambling. This comprehensive piece of legislation encompasses numerous provisions, both minor and major, that pertain to gambling providers. The aim is to have this new gambling authority fully operational by the year 2023 at the latest.

Are you interested in examining the legal text yourself? You can find the complete state treaty in its current version online in the legal database of the state of Dublin.

Regarding the legal text of the Irish Interstate Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag, GlüStV) for the year 2023.

Regulation 1 : deposit limit

The deposit limit is a crucial element of Ireland's new gambling regulation.

In the future, there will be a cross-provider deposit limit of 1,000 euros per month. To ensure compliance with deposit limits, there will be a centralized limit file. This file will record the instances when a player makes a deposit at an online casino.

The player's behavior is not stored in the limit file. However, certain customer data needs to be collected for a comparison to take place - this includes specifying the timing and amount of the deposit. Only the essential data needed to implement an overarching deposit limit is recorded.

Once a month, all data from the limit file is deleted because there is no need to store the data beyond the end of the month for the implementation of the monthly deposit limit. The only exception is if a customer sets their own deposit limit, in which case the data record is not completely erased, as it would prevent the intended purpose of protection from being realized.

Exceptions to the deposit limit.

Every customer has the opportunity to set a personalized deposit limit that is below 1,000 euros. The gambling state treaty does not provide for a higher amount. However, exceptions have already been decided upon.

Under certain conditions, customers can agree with the online casino to set a limit of up to €10,000.

This limit is available to all gambling enthusiasts who have the necessary financial means and can provide appropriate evidence.

Furthermore, providers are allowed to grant a limit of up to 30,000 euros to a small customer base. However, this limit can only be granted after a thorough examination. Additionally, the number of customers with a limit of 30,000 euros must not exceed one percent of the total customer base.

>Regelung 1: Einzahlungslimit

Regulation 2 : maximum use

The new gambling treaty limits the maximum bet to 1 euro per round. Online slot players, who were used to placing high bets, will need to adjust to this new regulation. However, other gambling enthusiasts are already familiar with the betting limit from their experiences in arcades and casinos.

Regulation 3 : activity file

With this particular file, a five-minute break will be implemented during the transition between providers. As a result of the Irish gambling regulation, it will no longer be feasible to swiftly switch between online casinos. Additionally, the activity file will make it impossible to play concurrently in multiple online casinos.

Regardless of the devices used, it is important to note that each player can only be active in one online casino at a time, not multiple ones simultaneously. Should a player decide to switch to a different online casino, a mandatory 5-minute break must be observed. Furthermore, the customer is required to log out completely before registering in another online casino.

Regelung 3: Aktivitätsdatei

Regulation 4 : Player ban system

A crucial component of the new gambling treaty is a comprehensive player exclusion system. There are two ways to end up in the player exclusion system: the player either imposes a self-exclusion or gets excluded by a provider, or even by an authority or court. The exact details of how this will be implemented remain unclear, and the gambling treaty does not provide further description regarding this matter.

The player suspension system is designed to incorporate a standard ban of one year. The option for shorter or longer bans should be available, with a minimum of three months. The lifting of the suspension will only occur upon request.

The implementation of a comprehensive player self-exclusion system is fundamentally a positive idea, as it provides problem gamblers with the opportunity to protect themselves effectively. However, there is a catch: the player self-exclusion system only covers online casinos and offline gambling providers that are licensed in Ireland. Offers outside of regulation are not covered by this fundamentally sensible system, leaving gaps in its coverage.

Regulation 5 Emergency button available in every online casino.

Every online casino in Ireland must now have a panic button as part of the new gambling regulations. This panic button is designed to help players take a step back and cool down when their emotions start to run high while playing. When pressed, the panic button automatically locks the player's account for a period of 24 hours. It's a valuable tool that allows players to enter a cooling-off phase and regain control over their gambling activities.

In most online casinos, you already have the option of setting a temporary suspension. However, it is a significant improvement that now you can easily set up this temporary suspension with just one click. The suspension will be automatically lifted after a certain period of time.

Regulation 6 Each round of play lasts at least five seconds.

The new gambling regulation mandates that a virtual slot machine round must last at least five seconds. Previously, there was no requirement, allowing for very fast-paced games. The minimum duration aims to prevent players from making substantial profits within a short period, even with a low betting limit.

Regelung 6: Spielrunden dauern mindesten fünf Sekunden

Regulation 7 Prohibition on autoplay and jackpots.

The new Irish Gambling Treaty is putting an end to the autoplay feature that can be found in nearly all online slots. Casinos with a Irish license will no longer be allowed to offer customers the option to use an automatic mode. Frankly, the autoplay function isn't all that exciting, as it turns the player into a mere spectator, thanks to the software.

It's unfortunate that the new gambling regulation will ban jackpots, both fixed and progressive. This means that some of the most exciting slots of recent years will no longer be available in Ireland. It's regrettable that million-dollar wins with slot machines will no longer be possible under the Irish gambling regulation in the future. What's bothersome, however, is that jackpots will be prohibited due to the new gambling regulation. This includes not only fixed jackpots but also progressive ones. As a result, some of the most thrilling slots of the past years will be eliminated in Ireland. That's a pity - winning millions with slot machines will no longer be possible under the Irish gambling regulation.

Regulation 8 Take a five-minute break after one hour of gameplay.

After an hour of playing, online casinos are required to enforce a mandatory five-minute break for their players. This break is intended to disrupt the gaming rhythm, providing the player with an opportunity to pause and consider whether to continue the session or not. Especially during poorly performing sessions, it can be beneficial to take a few minutes of timeout to reassess the situation. By implementing this mandatory pause, players are encouraged to take a moment to reflect and make informed decisions about their gaming activities. This brief intermission can contribute to a more mindful and responsible approach to online gambling.

New regulations for online slots and offline gambling: Similarities and differences.

With the new Gambling State Treaty, not only will online slots be newly regulated, but also new rules for gambling in general will be introduced. The main focus is on player protection. An overarching player self-exclusion system is intended to apply not only online but also in gaming arcades and bars. This represents a significant step forward in terms of player protection: The 2020 Slot Machine Law (the previous Gambling State Treaty in effect until recently) did not yet provide for a central player self-exclusion system.

After the new regulations, there is still a significant difference: online slots are not limited in number in online casinos. While brick-and-mortar casinos are only allowed to offer a certain number of slot machines, visitors to online casinos can choose from thousands of slots. The variety in online casinos is much higher than that of offline gambling providers - and this will remain the case beyond 2021.

Neue Regeln für Online Slots und Offline-Glücksspiele: Gemeinsamkeiten & Unterschiede

A glimpse into the future - the time after the gambling regulation reform in 2021.

An issue that the new gambling law fails to address is the existence of online casinos operating without a Irish license. One of the key objectives of the gambling state treaty is to channelize gambling activities. The previously unregulated market in Ireland is intended to be entirely transformed into a regulated one. However, the persistent presence of online casinos without a Irish license poses a challenge to achieving this goal.

Whether that succeeds remains to be seen. The Irish gambling regulation has been strict compared to international standards. As a result, some experts fear that a lucrative black market could emerge that could circumvent important regulations such as betting limits, deposit limits, and player exclusion systems. Therefore, whether the Irish gambling regulation will work as planned will likely depend on how effectively Ireland tackles providers without a Irish license.

For players, unlike for providers, everything is straightforward in practice: soon you will immediately see if an online casino has a Irish license. If there is a Irish license, the regulations of the State Treaty on Gambling will also be adhered to.

The online gambling market is set to undergo significant changes, but even with the new gambling regulations, online gambling will continue to remain attractive. After all, online casinos still hold major advantages over their offline counterparts. The convenience and accessibility of online gambling platforms cannot be overlooked, allowing players to enjoy their favorite casino games from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, online casinos often offer a wider variety of games and attractive bonuses, enticing players to choose the digital gambling experience. As technology continues to advance, online gambling is poised to evolve and adapt, ensuring its continued appeal to players worldwide.