According to Helen McEntee, Justice Minister of Ireland, the creation of a regulatory body for Ireland’s €8bn-plus gambling sector will not happen until at least next year.
In 2019, the Cabinet approved a plan to establish a regulator for the industry, while also publishing the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill that provided for long-awaited modernisation of existing legislation for the sector that dates back to 1931 and 1956.
The minister said that the Programme for Government gives a “clear commitment” to establishing 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.”
“Work is currently under way in my department on the development of the legislation to provide the necessary modern licensing and regulatory provisions for the Irish gambling industry. I hope to bring proposals in that regard to Government next year,” she said.
“Given the size, complexity and technological development of the modern gambling industry and having regard to the outdated and complex arrangements, it will be important that the regulator will be established on a strong footing and adequately resourced to carry out this important task,” she added.
A commencement order that will bring the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Act into force has already been signed and the legislation will come into effect on December 1. But it appears the industry and consumers will have to wait some time for a regulatory office – which it is intended will be funded via levies on the gambling sector – to be set up.