On 19 October 2021 the Government approved the publication of the General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill and for it to proceed for drafting by the Office Parliamentary Counsel.
The Programme for Government commits the Government 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’.
The purpose of the General Scheme is to implement that commitment by providing for an improved and modern approach concerning the licensing and regulation of gambling in Ireland today, and one that reflects the reality of the various gambling activities available in the State and recognises the impact of technology on the conduct of such activities.
The General Scheme sets out the framework and legislative basis for the establishment of a new independent, statutory body – the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (“the Authority”) – and for a robust regulatory and licensing regime for the gambling sector.
The General Scheme consists of 142 Heads with its key provisions including:
- the establishment of a new independent statutory body – the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland;
- a new streamlined, simplified and coherent licensing framework that reflects the nature of gambling in the State;
- the powers of the new Authority to enforce the proposed licensing approach, including provision for administrative financial sanctions and offences;
- the ability of the Authority to address the advertisement of gambling across all forms of media, sponsorship by licence holders, problem gambling, the protection of children, ensuring public safety and well-being, and consumer protection;
- the establishment of a Social Impact Fund for the purposes of financing research and information, education and awareness raising measures, and appropriately supporting problem gambling treatment activities by relevant health professionals; and
- an independent appeal system and process for licence holders, applicants for licences and consumers.
The General Scheme and related documents can be downloaded from the links below:
- General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill;
- Regulatory Impact Analysis – Gambling Regulation Bill;
- Inter-Departmental Working Group on Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling;
- Final report on the establishment of a modern regulatory environment and authority for all gambling activities licensed in Ireland.1
1 Facilitated with the financial support of the European Commission Directorate General for Structural Reform Support (DG REFORM).