Ireland’s process of gambling reform has taken a step forward after the Irish Parliament published its long-anticipated Gambling Regulation Bill.
The European Gaming and Betting Association, representing Europe’s leading online gambling operators, has welcomed the publication of the Bill, which marks a significant milestone in the Irish government’s efforts to modernise the country’s gambling regulations.
The Gambling Regulation Bill proposes new regulations for land-based and online gambling in Ireland, including the creation of a new authority to regulate gambling, a social fund to support education and problem gambling treatment, a national self-exclusion register for online gambling, new rules for gambling advertisements, and a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling payments.
The Bill will now follow the Parliamentary process, with the first reading expected in the Parliament in early 2023. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Bill is expected to become law in late 2023.
EGBA has welcomed the proposal to establish a gambling authority and hopes it will be well-resourced, has the necessary powers to tackle unlicensed gambling offers, and maintains an open dialogue with the country’s licensed gambling operators, other gambling regulators and stakeholders to identify best practices.
EGBA said it ‘fully supports’ the creation of a self-exclusion register in Ireland and has advocated for this previously as an essential safety net against gambling harm.
“Today is a significant milestone, and we congratulate Minister Browne and his team for bringing forward the Bill. EGBA fully supports the Irish government’s ongoing efforts to establish modern regulations that fit the digital age and bring the country’s regulatory framework into line with EU member states.
“We look forward to the finalisation of the Bill and engaging constructively with Irish policymakers to ensure the outcome is a well-functioning system of regulation that protects the interests of the many Irish citizens who gamble safely and recreationally, sets a high level of protection for consumers and those experiencing gambling-related harm, and provides clarity and long-term predictability for the gambling sector,” commented Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.