New gambling regulator to become operational next year

New gambling regulator to become operational next year

A new independent gambling regulator will become operational in 2023 under plans approved by ministers this week.

The general scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill, published yesterday, will create a new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland covering both online and in-person gambling, with powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.

James Browne, minister of state for law reform, youth justice and immigration, said the publication of the general scheme is “an important milestone towards the effective regulation of gambling in Ireland under the new, independent statutory body”.

He added: “We all accept that the current legislative framework is fragmented, outdated, lacks a coherent licensing and regulatory approach, and is in need of significant reform. Now is the time to finally address this issue comprehensively, once and for all.

“I believe that the legislative underpinning of this new Authority will be essential to its success and I am committed to taking this forward. There will be opportunities for further stakeholder engagement and input as part of the pre-legislative scrutiny process.”

The government has allocated €500,000 under Budget 2022 to meet the costs of appointing the CEO designate of the new regulator, as well as non-pay-related costs in establishing the authority. This is added to the initial seed funding of €200,000 in Budget 2021.

Mr Browne said: “I have established a programme board within my own Department to ensure that the legislation and the operational preparations are progressed in parallel so that the Authority commences operations as soon as possible after enactment.

“There is a pathway mapped for this legislation progressing, which will facilitate the Authority being established and operational in 2023.”

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