309. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Justice and Equality her plans for regulating online gambling providers; and the procedures in place for monitoring current unregulated gambling providers operating here. [3732/15]
Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): Responsibility for the enforcement of the current gaming and betting legislation rests with An Garda Síochána. There is no provision in that legislation for the licensing of on-line gambling operators.
The Minister for Finance has legislation currently before the Oireachtas that will update the law as it pertains to betting only. The Betting (Amendment) Bill 2013 provides for the licensing of on-line betting operators, and contains provisions for dealing with unlicensed betting operators.
The Gambling Control Bill will, when enacted, update all existing laws on the regulation of gambling, including betting and gaming (but excluding the National Lottery). It will provide for the licensing of all forms of on-line gambling.
The Gambling Control Bill will confer responsibility for all regulatory matters on the Minister for Justice and Equality. The Minister's functions will include licensing, inspections and prosecutions, and it is envisaged that these functions will be carried out by a body located within my Department. The Scheme provides for a dedicated inspectorate to ensure compliance by licence holders with the terms of their licences and with the new legislation generally.
While it is my intention to proceed with this legislation at the earliest possible opportunity, it is not possible at this point to state when the Bill is likely to be published.