Irish Gambling Initiative
The announcement follows the publication of a report on gambling, licensing and regulation in Ireland by a governmental Working Group. Working Party member and Minister of State, David Stanton, comments that Ireland currently applies a “mid-20th century approach” to all gambling and has not taken into consideration the technological impacts of digital advances in the sector.
He added that the industry requires comprehensive reform and the establishment of the new regulatory body will be the first step along this path.
Mr Stanton also announced that a watchdog will be put in place to monitor reforms to Irish gambling laws. He said: “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.
“The Working Group is firmly of the view that without a new independent regulatory authority of sufficient scale, the comprehensive reform required will not be possible. Effective modern licensing regulation and monitoring of the gambling industry will come at a cost.
The Working Group concludes nevertheless that such an authority can in time be substantially self-financing, through income from licence and other fees charged to gambling operators.”
Current Picture In Ireland
At present, gambling in Ireland is overseen by a number of governmental departments and other agencies and the only coherent piece of legislation in place relates to the Irish National Lottery.
The new regulatory body will be responsible for awarding gambling licences in Ireland and will have powers to enforce legislative compliance on all operators. It will also manage social funding for distribution to the approved gambling addiction organisations and treatment centres and be tasked with raising public awareness of all gambling related news and issues alongside carrying out research and offering education.