Home > Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 1294 - Departmental data [gambling] [29320/22].

[Oireachtas] Dáil Éireann debate. Written answer 1294 - Departmental data [gambling] [29320/22]. (14 Jun 2022)

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

1294. Deputy Neasa Hourigan asked the Minister for Justice the number of enforcement actions taken under section 20 of the Betting Act 1931 in each of the years 2017 to 2021, respectively. [29320/22] 

Helen McEntee, Minister for Justice: Section 20 of the Betting Acts addresses a number of matters that apply to bookmakers’ premises, such as what may be placed and displayed outside premises, as well as restrictions on the material and information that may be displayed inside and outside a bookmaker’s premises. 

Responsibility for the regulation of bookmakers’ premises is a matter for the Minister for Finance, as provided for the under the Betting Acts 1931-2015. As such, the Deputy will appreciate that my Department currently has no responsibility for the matters raised in this query. 

Furthermore, the role of An Garda Síochána in the enforcement of any legislation is an operational matter for the Garda Commissioner. Under Section 26 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005 (as amended) the Garda Commissioner is responsible for the management and administration of Garda business. This includes all operational policing matters, including engagement between An Garda Síochána and any third party on any matter related to law enforcement or the detection, prevention, prosecution and investigation of criminal offences. I have no role in these independent functions. 

However, as the Deputy will be aware, 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. Additionally, Justice Plan 2022 commits to continuing the work already commenced by my Department to establish a Gambling Regulatory Authority. 

To give effect to this commitment, work is underway on the Gambling Regulation Bill, which was approved by Government 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. Among its key objectives, the Authority will require safeguards to address problem gambling including in relation to gambling advertising. 

As provided for in the Bill, the Authority will develop codes and regulations in relation to advertising, promotion and sponsorship by licence holders, providing for a comprehensive and far reaching set of checks and balances in respect of gambling advertising. 

These codes and regulations include measures to address:

- where, when and the form in which advertising may be broadcast, published, or displayed;

- the times gambling advertising can appear on television, radio, on-demand audio-visual media services and video-sharing platform services each day;

- the frequency and volume of gambling advertising generally;

- a prohibition on the use of material that would appeal to children in gambling related advertisements; and

- the prohibition of targeted and unsolicited advertising of gambling across a range of media and technology platforms except where a person has given their consent to receive it. 

These codes and regulations will be developed in co-operation with relevant statutory bodies concerning broadcasting and advertising, and following consultation with licence holders or their representatives. 

There is a pathway mapped for this legislation progressing, which will facilitate the Authority being established and operational in 2023.

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