Deputy Pa Daly asked the Minister for Justice the timeline for the establishment of the gambling regulator; the amount allocated for its establishment in Budget 2022; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [50701/21]
694. Deputy Thomas Gould asked the Minister for Justice the details on the gambling regulator mentioned in Budget 2022 speeches. [50704/21]
Minister for Justice (Deputy Heather Humphreys): I propose to take Questions Nos. 691 and 694 together.
The Programme for Government gives a clear commitment to establish 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 General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill was approved by Government today will be published shortly. The Scheme sets out the framework and legislative basis for the establishment of this new, independent statutory body – the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.
The Authority will have among its key objectives:
- Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way for companies to make decisions in certainty;
- Requiring safeguards to address problem gambling including in relation to gambling advertising; and
- Preventing gambling from being a source or support to crime.
The Authority will have the necessary enforcement powers for licensing and to enable it to take appropriate and focused action where providers are failing to comply with the provisions of this legislation, and with the Authority’s licensing terms and conditions, regulations and codes.
My Department has established a Programme Board to ensure that the legislation and the operational preparations are progressed in parallel so that the Authority commences operations as soon as possible after enactment. There is a pathway mapped for this legislation progressing which will facilitate the Authority being established and operational in 2023.
As part of Budget 2022, €500,000 has been allocated to meet the costs of appointing the CEO designate as well as non-pay related costs in establishing the Authority. This is added to the initial seed funding of €200,000 in Budget 2021. This €700,000 will cover start-up costs including accommodation and professional services.