According to the Junior Minister in the Department of Justice, David Stanton, the Irish Government’s plan to create an independent gambling regulatory body. These intentions were announced a couple of months ago as part of the Government’s efforts to make the regulation of the country’s gambling sector more efficient and up-to-date. Mr Stanton further noted that all stakeholders were unanimous on the regulator’s establishment and want to see it up and running as soon as possible.
The Junior Minister took part in a seminar on licensing and regulation of gambling which was held in Farmleigh yesterday morning, at which he explained that the new Irish gambling regulatory body is set to be established within the 18-month timeframe which the Government unveiled in March 2019. He further shared that he did not want to raise expectations that the new regulatory body would be created faster than expected.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, an independent regulator responsible for all gambling operators’ licensing is planned to be established under the Gambling and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill. In addition, a special social fund aimed at providing treatment for gambling addicts is set to be established, too. According to plans, it would be funded by a tax paid by gambling companies which hold an Irish operating license.
Independent Watchdog Establishment Is the First Step to Modern Gambling Regulation
If the words of Minister Stanton are true, then the promised independent gambling regulator is expected to be in place by the end of 2020. The regulatory body would be responsible for the regulation of both land-based and online gambling, as well as for dealing with match-fixing, underage gambling and spreading gambling addiction rates.
As the Irish Government has explained, without the establishment of the new regulatory body, there is no prospect of making the licensing and regulation of the country’s gambling sector more up-to-date. Not to mention that the regulator would be engaged in research, inspection, licensing, regulation, law enforcement, etc.
According to David Stanton, up to 100 people could be employed after the new regulator is established. Back in March, the Government revealed that gambling licensees would be required to fund such a regulatory body which would have the power to impose fines on operators if they are found in violation of the local gambling legislation.
So far, the Irish Government has faced strong criticism for its lack of actions regarding the modernisation of the industry. The establishment of the new gambling watchdog would be the first step of Ireland towards making a change to more up-to-date gambling industry. In the past few years, anti-gambling campaigners, opposition parties and local bookmakers have called for the Government to take some action and make sure that the country’s gambling regulation is brought into the 21st century, as the existing gambling legislation needs to be changed in a way corresponding to the actual needs of the industry.