Matheson’s Betting and Gaming team is one of the leading specialist practices in this area in Ireland. We offer expert advice to operators in this space in relation to licensing, regulatory advice, taxation, e-commerce, commercial contracts, advertising and IP structures. Our partners have worked with many of the leading names in the gaming and betting sectors. Our betting and gaming clients work with us on transactions, disputes, tax and projects because of our ability to cut through complexity and to mitigate risk.
Our experience ranges from advising traditional “bricks and mortar” bookmakers and private members clubs / casinos in relation to their operations in Ireland, to advising large multi-national online gaming operators providing remote and non-traditional online gaming and betting services to Irish consumers.
We also assist businesses in Ireland use lotteries as a tool in marketing promotions and competitions in a compliant manner.
We offer practical advice on complying with Ireland’s gambling laws, including the Gaming and Lotteries Acts 1956 to 2013, the Betting Acts 1931 to 2015, the Totalisator Act 1929 and the National Lottery Act 2013.
We also advise on the application of advertising laws, consumer protection laws and the ASAI Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications to gambling products and lotteries. We have particular expertise in guiding new entrants to the Irish market on tailoring their product offering so as to comply with Ireland’s gambling laws.
We assist clients apply for and renew lottery licences, bookmaker licences, remote bookmaker licences and intermediary licences. We provide guidance on the acquisition of gaming and gambling businesses in mergers and acquisitions.
The regulation of the gambling industry in Ireland has long been ripe for reform. We also advise clients in relation to legislative changes and the possible implications. In particular, we have briefed clients on the long-delayed Gambling Control Bill, as well as the Courts and Civil law Miscellaneous Provisions Bill.
Our marketing leading tax practice advises on all aspects of gambling and taxation including betting duty, online betting duty, the application of VAT on eGaming services and mini-one-stop-shop (“MOSS”) registrations.
IP and Commercial Contracts
The gaming and betting industry is highly innovative. We are regularly called on to negotiate and draft agreements with affiliates, content providers (including odds compilation services and video content), white-label providers and advertising networks. We also draft and negotiate software licences of all types. Aside from inbound and outbound licences, we also work with clients to secure, protect and monetise their intellectual property (including trade marks, domain names, content and databases).
Whether operating online or offline, clients in the gaming and gambling sectors use tailored customer contracts and data privacy policies. Their contracts must reflect the delivery of the product, the game play, use of personal data and management of funds, to manage the risks inherent in the business. Our lawyers are experienced in preparing these documents for use in Irish market.
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Recent experience includes:
- Advising online betting operators in relation to the regulatory and taxation changes introduced by the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015 and providing step-by-step guidance and assistance in obtaining remote bookmaker and betting intermediary licenses.
- Advising leading operators in relation to IP disputes.
- Advising new entrants to the Irish market on compliance with local gambling laws – especially in relation to non-traditional products or novel products.
- Advising international operators on local content and streaming agreements.
- Applying for lottery licences, and designing promotions and competitions to comply with lottery laws.
- Advising operators in relation to the licensing requirements associated with betting and gaming activities provided to customers in Ireland.
- Advising on the impact of the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 on operators in the industry and to its application on retail competitions or promotions.
- Advising international gaming operators in relation to the hosting of IT infrastructure in Ireland.
- Advising operators on the content of advertising materials to ensure compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements and self-regulatory codes of practice.
- Advising on the regulatory status of betting exchanges, prediction markets, white label arrangements, spread betting operators, and manufacturers, suppliers and vendors of gaming equipment and technology.