Local governments in Ireland have restrictions on fruit machines but law enforcement often fails to detect illegal use of them.
High street bookmakers are the preferred punching bag these days in the UK and Ireland. British gambling laws were recently revised to bump up taxes and restrictions on betting shops, and now voices in Ireland are taking aim at them as well.
Many local governments in the country already have bans or curbs on fruit machines, but journalists and concerned citizens have reported that they operate outside of the law in many cases.
Councilman Cllr O’Boyle of Dundalk proclaimed to be “shocked and overwhelmed by the sheer scale” of gambling addiction in his municipality, blaming much of it on the easy availability of fruit machines.
Fruit machines located in many businesses
Fruit machines found in land-based establishments tend to carry worse odds than those found in online casinos in Ireland, with users often losing much of what they wager. The problem is compounded by the fact that these machines are illegally located in betting shops, pubs, chip shops and bingo halls.
While gambling is a leisure activity appropriate for consenting adults, it is important that operators comply with local regulations and that individuals and communities take steps to help those struggling with problem gambling habits.