As part of its 2023 Justice Plan, the Irish Department of Justice reaffirms its support for the advancement of the Gambling Regulation Bill, a new piece of legislation aimed at regulating the gambling industry.
As part of its 2023 Justice Plan, the Irish Department of Justice has expressed its endorsement for the advancement of Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill in the Oireachtas, the country’s parliament. The department has also committed to providing necessary administrative support for the establishment of a dedicated gambling regulator, known as the Gambling Regulatory Authority, to oversee and regulate the gambling industry in Ireland.
James Browne TD, the Minister of State for Law Reform, has emphasized the significance of the Gambling Regulation Bill as a key priority, describing it as a crucial and essential piece of legislation designed to address the responsible regulation of gambling in modern-day Ireland. Recognizing the challenges associated with gambling, Minister Browne emphasized the importance of the bill in meeting these challenges and promoting responsible gambling practices in Ireland in the 21st century.
Minister James Browne further elaborated that the main objective of the Gambling Regulation Bill is to provide a comprehensive framework for a strong regulatory and licensing system for the gambling industry in Ireland. He highlighted that the 2023 Justice Plan reaffirms the commitment to progress this bill through the Oireachtas, with the ultimate aim of establishing the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland to effectively oversee and regulate the gambling sector in the country.
“The primary objective of the bill is to present the framework for a robust regulatory and licensing regime for the gambling sector in Ireland. Justice Plan 2023 commits to bringing this bill through the Oireachtas to allow for the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.”
In December of the previous year, the Gambling Regulation Bill was published, outlining the creation of a specialized gambling regulator known as the Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority or Údarás Rialála Cearrbhachais na hÉireann. Anne Marie Caulfield has been appointed as the designated Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for this regulatory body, which would be responsible for overseeing and regulating the gambling industry in Ireland.
While the Gambling Regulation Bill has been generally well-received by the industry, there have been concerns raised about the broad language used regarding the prohibition of gambling promotions. Some stakeholders have expressed worries that the bill’s language could potentially lead to a ban on various types of promotions, including the use of free bets. This has prompted discussions and debates on the scope and impact of the bill’s provisions related to gambling promotions within the gambling industry in Ireland.
Minister Browne has clarified that the Gambling Regulation Bill does not seek to implement a complete prohibition on gambling advertising or sponsorship. Rather, the bill stipulates that individuals would only receive gambling advertising if they actively opt-in to receive it on on-demand or media sharing platforms. Similarly, on social media, such advertising would only be allowed for those who voluntarily subscribe to these services and platforms and explicitly consent to receiving such advertisements. This clarification underscores the bill’s aim to balance responsible gambling practices with individual consent and preferences regarding gambling advertising in Ireland.
Minister Browne further highlighted that the Gambling Regulation Bill includes provisions for a watershed, which would prohibit the broadcast of gambling advertising on television and radio during the hours of 5.30am and 9.00pm. Additionally, the bill grants the new regulator broad powers to prescribe the times, places, and events where gambling advertising can be broadcast, displayed, or published. The regulator would also have authority to specify the frequency, duration, and amount of advertisements. These measures demonstrate the bill’s intent to provide regulatory oversight and control over gambling advertising in Ireland, ensuring that it aligns with responsible gambling practices and consumer protection.
The Gambling Regulation Bill has successfully passed its first reading, indicating initial approval by the relevant legislative body. This is an important step in the legislative process as it signifies that the bill has been formally introduced and acknowledged by the appropriate governing body, and is now eligible for further deliberations, potential amendments, and subsequent readings before it can be enacted into law.