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Fitness to Practise Update Series: Green Light for the Gambling Regulatory Authority

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Ireland

The 2022 Budget has allocated a sum of €500,000 for the establishment of the long awaited Gambling Regulatory Authority ("the Authority"). This is a welcome announcement as gambling reform has been in development for some time.

In addition to the 2022 Budget provision for the establishment of the Authority, The Minister of State for Law Reform, Youth Justice and Immigration, James Browne TD,  published last week the General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill (the "Scheme"). 

This is a clear indication of the government's commitment to establishing the Authority. The Authority's focus will primarily be on public safety and well-being. It shall be independent in the performance of its functions, will be responsible for regulating both gambling online and gambling in person and will have powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.

The Scheme has incorporated the recommendations contained in the Inter-Departmental Working Group Report published in March 2019 for the establishment of the Authority, together with acknowledging the impact of technology on gambling and gambling related advertising. 

It is envisaged that the Authority will have the following among its key objectives: 
 
  • Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way for companies to make decisions in certainty;
  • Requiring safeguards to address problem gambling including in relation to gambling advertising; and
  • Preventing gambling from being a source or support to crime.

It is expected that the Authority will be operational in 2023.

The General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill published last week, 21 October 2021 can be found here: General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill.  

The Inter-Departmental Working Group Report published in March 2019 can be found here: Inter-Departmental Working Group Report dated March 2019.

"As the gambling industry changes, and indeed as the demographics and motivations of its customers change, so must the State’s licensing and regulatory approach."

Written by Aoife Stack and Danielle Sumner

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Public and Regulatory