Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 123, 128 - Gambling sector [8554/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 123, 128 - Gambling sector [8554/22]. (17 Feb 2022)

External website: https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2022...

123. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Justice when she expects the gambling regulatory authority to be established; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [8554/22]

128. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice if a chief executive officer has been appointed for the gambling regulatory authority. [8724/22]

James Browne, Minister of State at the Department of Justice: I propose to take Questions Nos. 123 and 128 together. 

The Programme for Government gives a clear commitment to establish a gambling regulator focused on public safety and well-being, covering gambling online and in person, and the powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps. 

The Government has approved the Gambling Regulation Bill for priority drafting and publication. 

The Bill will set out the framework and legislative basis for the establishment of a new independent, statutory body – the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland – to implement a robust regulatory and licensing regime for the gambling sector. Drafting of the Bill is now underway. 

The Authority will have the necessary enforcement powers for licensing and to enable it to take appropriate and focused action where providers are failing to comply with the provisions of this Bill and with the Authority’s licensing terms and conditions, regulations and codes. 

The Authority will have 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. 

The General Scheme has been referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice for pre-legislative scrutiny. 

A Programme Board has been established 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. 

Last October, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform sanctioned the recruitment of the CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland. The Public Appointments Service will manage the recruitment of this position. The application booklet has been finalised and the recruitment process is expected to be underway by the end of this month. An Executive Search Agency has been procured to attract a pool of high quality candidates to this position.

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