The Government’s publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill is a welcome event which has been eagerly awaited since the introduction of the 2013 Gambling Control Bill. The Gambling Awareness Trust commends Minister James Browne for his consistent resolve in bringing this legislation forward to its current stage and believes it will result in a fundamental change in terms of minimising gambling related harm in Ireland.
The Bill represents a balanced approach from government, with a view to making gambling a safer activity for all, particularly those most vulnerable to experiencing problematic gambling, through effective regulation of the industry.
The legislation paves the way for the establishment of a gambling regulator focused on public safety and well-being covering gambling online and in person, with legislative powers under the new Gambling Regulatory Authority to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.
Participants in the gambling industry will be required to hold a licence, governing their activities for both in-person and online or remote betting:
- Business to Consumer Gaming, Betting and Lottery Licences;
- Business to Business Licences; and
- Gambling licences for Charitable/Philanthropic Causes.
There is a welcome focus on the safety and protection of children and young people in the areas of advertising, sponsorship, and specific events. The prohibition on advertising before the watershed includes all media platforms together with a strict ban on promotional events where children are present will encompass sponsorship of sports teams and clubs where there are minor members present.
The introduction of a national gambling exclusion register is a much needed measure which will have far reaching practical effects for those who want to curtail their gambling activity, or those who are in recovery and wish to avoid the opportunity to gamble at a vulnerable time.
The powers of the Regulator in terms of the licensing and robust monitoring and inspection of all operators will ensure the most unscrupulous operators, particularly those overseas businesses currently operating in the Irish market, will be subject to significant penalties and will provide for a safer environment for all. The prohibition of inducements such as free bets and other practices will support safer play overall.
We look forward to working with the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland over the coming months and to seeing the benefits of the legislation in the years ahead.
GamblingCare.ie was established in March 2019, to broaden public understanding of safer gambling, and to help those that do develop problems, or their friends and family members, to get the support and help that they need, quickly and effectively.
We provide advice, advocacy, and referrals to current support services to help people at all stages of the addiction process. We signpost individuals into dedicated support services across the country ranging from residential programmes, in-person counselling, online counselling, and support groups to self-help tools and resources that can help people overcome the impact of Problem Gambling and get their lives back on track.
GamblingCare is funded and administered by the Gambling Awareness Trust, an independent charity which funds research, education and treatment services to help minimise gambling-related harm in Ireland. The Gambling Awareness Trust charity is wholly funded by donations from the online and retail betting and gaming industry in Ireland.