Irish Department of Justice supports Gambling Regulation Bill


The department’s 2023 Justice Plan supports the progression of the new gambling legislation.

Ireland.- The Department of Justice has given its support for Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill to progress. Its 2023 Justice Plan aims to push the bill through the Irish parliament, the Oireachtas.

The department said it would provide management services to support the establishment of a gambling regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority.

Minister of state for law reform James Browne TD said the legislation was a key priority, describing it as “an important and necessary bill and reform, designed to meet the challenges of gambling responsibly in 21st century Ireland.”

Browne said: “The primary objective of the bill is to present the framework for a robust regulatory and licensing regime for the gambling sector in Ireland. Justice Plan 2023 commits to bringing this bill through the Oireachtas to allow for the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.”

Published in December last year, the Gambling Regulation Bill would create a dedicated gambling regulator, the Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority or Údarás Rialála Cearrbhachais na hÉireann. Anne Marie Caulfield has been named as the chief executive officer designate for the body.

The industry has largely welcomed the bill, but there has been concern about broad language on the subject of a prohibition of gambling promotions. Language in the bill suggests that all types of promotion could be banned, including the use of free bets.

Browne has clarified that the bill does not provide for an “outright ban on gambling advertising or sponsorship” but that a person may only receive gambling advertising when they opt-in to receiving it on an on-demand or media sharing platform or, in the case of social media, “only where a person subscribes to such services and platforms and gives their consent to receiving such advertising”.

Browne added that the bill provides for a watershed prohibiting the broadcast of gambling advertising on television and radio between the hours of 5.30am and 9.00pm. Moreover, the bill also provides for a wide-ranging power to allow the new regulator to prescribe the times, places and events where gambling advertising can be broadcast, displayed or published, and to specify the frequency, duration and amount of advertisements.

The bill was approved at its first reading.

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