The cabinet approved the establishment of an independent regulator, but it won’t be in place for at least 18 months.
Ireland.- The Government of Ireland approved on Wednesday the plan to establish a new gambling regulatory authority. The legislation, which will not come into force for at least 18 more months, was the latest push in a series of attempts to modernise regulations and introduce a new Irish gambling regulator.
Minister of State at the Department of Justice David Stanton presented the proposal to establish a new Irish gambling regulator to Cabinet on Wednesday. The initiative comes from a report from an inter-departmental working group on issues around gambling, local media reported.
The government has been trying to come up with legislation since 2013 but failed to reach a positive outcome. With recent technological advances within the gambling industry, the government started to work on a new initiative this year.
The authority will be able to develop and enforce licensing and regulatory measures regarding gambling activities, including online betting. It will also be in charge of player protection. Furthermore, it will establish a social fund for research, information campaigns and treatment for vulnerable players. Levies on betting companies will support all these initiatives.
The regulatory body will have the authority to be proactive
The Minister of State with special responsibility for gambling regulation, David Stanton, told the Hard Shoulder that the regulator will have the resources and the legal authority to investigate and be proactive. “It will also have to regulate advertising, sponsorship and promotion of gambling products. That’s a very difficult one to do because a lot of this is online and from abroad.”
“We need to be in a strong position to monitor the industries operations in our country and a Minister should have a direct say in that. I hope [the independent regulatory authority] is promptly established so that we can have proper regulation of gambling in Ireland,” said spokesperson on Justice, Jim O’Callaghan.
On the other hand, Fianna Fáil’s Children’s Spokesperson, Anne Rabbitte said that she’s not entirely okay with this move. She said she isn’t sure that it holds the same degree of change as she believes is absolutely necessary. However, she said that she will continue to work closely with her party colleagues to push for this regulator. “There’s still some while to go before the tenacious link between sports and gambling here in Ireland is broken.”