Home > Government approves publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill.

[Department of Justice] Government approves publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill. (15 Nov 2022)

External website: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/5f2d7-governme...

The Government has today approved the publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill.
Led by Minister of State for Law Reform, James Browne TD, this Bill sets out the framework for a modern, robust regulatory and licensing regime for the gambling sector.

The legislation paves the way for the establishment of a gambling regulator focused on public safety and well-being covering gambling online and in person, with the powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.
The Bill gives legislative underpinning for the new Gambling Regulatory Authority, which will be essential to its success.

Welcoming today’s Government decision, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said:

“This approval by Cabinet is significant and the publication of the Bill is unquestionably a major milestone. It is an important and necessary piece of legislation, designed to meet the challenges of gambling responsibly in 21st century Ireland.

“This long awaited and much needed Bill takes a responsible approach to balancing the freedom to gamble with the safeguards to protect people from falling prey to addiction. This Bill provides a clearer framework for operators and for consumers.”
Speaking at the launch of the Bill today, Minister for Justice Helen McEntee said:

“At the heart of the Bill is the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, an independent body equipped to enforce regulation of the gambling sector.

“The Bill will ensure that the Gambling Regulatory Authority can appropriately, meaningfully and swiftly respond to ongoing and future developments in the gambling sector. The focus on preventing harm is of vital importance. As a former Minister of Mental Health and as a local representative, I have seen the damaging impact gambling addiction can have on people and families, particularly on their mental health.”
The Bill provides for a modern and streamlined approach to gambling licensing activities which will replace the currently fragmented regime. Three types of licences for both in-person and online or remote betting will be introduced:
Business to Consumer Gaming, Betting and Lottery Licences;
Business to Business Licences; and
Gambling licences for Charitable/Philanthropic Causes.

Welcoming the Government’s decision today, Minister Browne said:

“Reforming gambling legislation and regulation in Ireland is a key commitment in our Programme for Government and Justice Plan, and has been one of my key priorities as Minister. I am pleased to have gotten the draft legislation to this point, and look forward now to it being published and brought through the Houses to enactment.

“This legislation will establish a Gambling Regulator which will be robust with a focus on prevention of harm to people vulnerable to problem gambling and particularly protecting children, and also a focus on enforcement of a strong, modern regulatory framework for the gambling industry.

“Operators who provide gambling activities without a gambling licence issued by the Authority, or who do not operate in accordance with the provisions of their licence could, if convicted, face to up to 8 years imprisonment and/or a fine at the discretion of the courts.

“Strict regulation of gambling advertising will be a priority area for the Authority. Under the legislation, advertising intended to appeal to children will be prohibited, as will advertising that promotes excessive or compulsive gambling.

A watershed prohibiting gambling advertising at certain times of day (between 5:30am and 9:00pm) will be introduced.

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