The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) has expressed its hopes towards the introduction of a Gambling Control Bill and an Independent regulator, as published in its inter-departmental group report.
Irish Minister of State, David Stanton, noted that with a fast-evolving industry and changing demographics, “the State’s licensing and regulatory approach” must also adapt.
He added: “Incremental change is not a viable approach to the reform of Irish gambling licensing and regulation. Effective reform requires fundamental and significant change. This will take some time to develop. It is essential that sufficient resources be committed to support the reform.”
The introduction of a new independent regulator will seek to find an optimum structure for a proposed gambling regulatory authority for Ireland, which will oversee the enforcement of new legislation.
Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the IBA, commented: “We are hopeful that this will be the final step towards completion and enactment of a Gambling Control bill and independent regulator.
“Our members have already introduced many of the advertising standards, customer monitoring and customer protection measures recommended by regulators in other countries. We have also funded a national problem gambling helpline and counselling network across Ireland for over eight years.
“However, an independent regulator and gambling control bill, will ensure enforcement and contributions for all gambling operators, not just betting shops, which will lead to better consumer protections and support for those who may be vulnerable to addiction.
“We hope the way is now clear for the Department to draft the Heads of a new bill and introduce a regulator as soon as possible.”
The authority will monitor new licensed incumbent requirements on age restrictions, staff training, player self-exclusion and controls on advertising and marketing promotions.