Amid the growing popularity of online gambling, Ireland made a major step forward in strengthening the protection for gamblers in the country. On Tuesday, lawmakers approved the publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill, a new framework that will regulate the industry in the country.
Gambling Regulatory Authority to Safeguard Gamblers in Ireland
The new regulation will seek to make gambling safer for the public, regardless if the activity is conducted online or at brick-and-mortar venues. Ultimately, the Gambling Regulation Bill introduces a comprehensive framework that safeguards consumers from gambling harm.
Under the new Bill, the Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA), will be in charge of the regulation of gambling activities. The GRA was recently created and back in September, Anne Marie Caulfield was selected as its CEO.
Thanks to the new Bill, the gambling laws in Ireland will better serve the needs of the growing industry and at the same time introduce vital improvements related to safer gambling, licensing policies and consumer standards. Considering that the GRA already has its first CEO, the new regulator is expected to start operating next year.
The Overhaul of the Gambling Regulation Seeks to Reduce Harm
James Browne, Ireland’s Minister of State, helped draft the new proposal. The head of the government of Ireland, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, thanked Browne for his dedication and efforts in drafting such a robust proposal that seeks to regulate gambling in the country. He acknowledged that the Bill involved enormous work in the last few years. According to Martin, the new bill takes a careful approach when it comes to responsible gambling. He explained that the Gambling Regulation Bill is after reducing problem gambling while at the same time giving freedom to people who want to enjoy the activity responsibly.
“This long-awaited and much needed bill takes a responsible approach. It introduces a series of safeguards to protect people from falling pray to gambling addiction while also balances the freedom to enjoy responsible gambling.“
Taoiseach Micheál Martin
Moreover, Martin outlined that the new regulation introduces an authority, the GRA, which will have the needed enforcement powers to introduce penalties for gambling operators that breach the regulations. He added that thanks to the new Bill, people who are suffering from problem gambling will be able to receive the help and support they need. Different safeguards such as exclusion registers will also be introduced as a part of the gambling overhaul, Martin explained.
Browne thanked Taoiseach Martin and revealed that he is delighted to be present for the approval of the publication of the new gambling Bill. He said that the new Bill seeks to address different challenges within the gambling industry in Ireland. “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,” added Browne.