Ireland’s Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has admitted the launch of the country’s new gambling regulator will be delayed until at least 2021.
The new regulator was one aspect of Ireland’s Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019, which was signed into law in December 2019 and also includes limits on gaming machine stakes and prizes. When the bill was being considered in May 2019, Minister of State David Stanton said the regulator should be in place within 18 months.
However, in a written response to a question from TD Pádraig O’Sullivan, McEntee said the Justice Department is working on its creation, but she would not bring forward proposals to establish the regulator until next year.
“The Programme 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,” she said.
“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.”
McEntee said she wanted to make sure that the regulator was adequately equipped to deal with the gambling industry in Ireland.
“Given the size, complexity and technological development of the modern gambling industry and having regard to the current outdated and complex arrangements, it will be important that the regulator will be established on a strong footing and adequately resourced to carry out this important task,” McEntee said.