Irish government pledges to establish independent regulator by 2020

The Irish government’s proposals to establish an independent gambling regulator to oversee the licencing of all gambling operators has received the ‘full backing’ of the industry, according to junior minister David Stanton.

According to the Fine Gael MP, the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill will oversee licensing in addition to establishing a social fund to provide treatment for gambling addicts, funded by a levy on licence holders.

These intentions to create an independent body were announced earlier this year as part of the Government’s efforts to make the regulation of the country’s gambling sector more efficient and up-to-date.

The proposals were discussed as part of a seminar on licensing and regulation of gambling ar Farmleigh earlier this week. Stanton explained that a new Irish gambling regulatory body is set to be established in the next 18 months, and added that it is imperative that the new body remains independent of both the industry and government.

Stanton commented:  “You are going to be talking about money laundering, you’re going to be talking about problem gambling, enforcement, licensing, research, regulation, inspection, so you could have up to 100 people working in this authority with that kind of expertise.”

If the gambling regulator is established in the 18 month time frame set out by Stanton, it is expected that it will be in place by the end of 2020. The new body would be responsible for overseeing the regulation of both the land-based and online gambling sectors, as well as dealing with match-fixing, underage gambling and spreading gambling addiction rates.

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