Irish gambling regulator launch delayed

By Hayley Grammer

Ireland’s Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has announced that the launch of the country’s overhauled gambling regulatory framework will be delayed until at least 2021. 

Focused on the entire range of available gambling products, Ireland’s Gaming and Lotteries Bill 2019 was signed into law in December 2019 and will come with a variety of new measures, including limits on gaming machines and maximum prizes, among others. 

According to Minister of State David Stanton, the legislation should have arrived at some point this year, but the Justice Department notified lawmakers and the government that it would need more time to launch the new regulatory framework. 

Reports indicate that Ireland has seen a surge in online betting, with fears of a rise in gambling addiction. With a broad scope, the bill is aimed at regulating public safety and consumers well-being, covering both brick-and-mortar and online gambling activities, as well as regulating advertising and gambling websites.

The Program for Government gives a clear commitment to establish a gambling regulator focused on public safety and wellbeing, covering gambling online and in person, and the powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps,” said McEntee. 

 “Work is currently underway in my department on the development of the legislation to provide for the necessary modern licensing and regulatory provisions for the Irish gambling industry. I hope to bring proposals in that regard to the Government next year.” 

According to McEntee, the government is facing several primary challenges with implementing the bill and wants to make sure that the regulator was adequately equipped to deal with these challenges. 

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