02 December 2022: The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) welcomes the publication of this important piece of legislation. Having called for regulation of the sector for many years, the IBA welcomes this significant step towards developing a national regulatory regime for the gambling industry.
The IBA is committed to assisting all stakeholders in the development of this legislation, through to its enactment, to ensure that consistent, efficient, effective and evidence-based measures are introduced that will create a level playing field across the various types of gambling.
A fit-for-purpose and appropriately resourced regulatory authority is essential to the sustainable future of the retail bookmaking industry. The publication of the Bill is a much-needed step towards legislative reform of the gambling sector in this regard.
Chairperson of the IBA, Sharon Byrne said, ‘Today is a landmark day in the reform of gambling legislation. The Bill, when enacted, will enable the industry to continue to develop the highest standards for safer gambling in Ireland.’
‘The final Act must ensure that consumers are protected through practical and effective measures which are applied across the entire gambling spectrum. For industry, it must provide clarity and certainty for bookmakers while also allowing sufficient flexibility to ensure the regulatory regime can keep pace with technological developments.’
‘The IBA and its members are eager to provide any assistance required in the development of this legislation and our members have significant expertise and experience of best-in-class regulatory regimes internationally.’
ABOUT THE IRISH BOOKMAKERS’ ASSOCIATION
Founded in April 2005, the IBA is the largest representative body of the bookmaking industry in Ireland. Its membership includes over 738 of the 768 betting shops left in Ireland.
The Irish Bookmakers Association has a broad-based membership in that it represents major retail operators and a strong mix of independent operators.
CODE OF PRACTICE FOR SAFER GAMBLING
The membership of the IBA has made significant strides to increase player protections including most recently updating its code of practice for Safer Gambling which was announced in August 2021.
The 2021 updates to the Code of Practice included an industry-wide ban on the use of credit cards, both online and in shops, for Irish customers and a pre-watershed whistle-to-whistle advertising ban for live sport.
This is the latest in a series of initiatives to promote safe and responsible gambling led by the Irish Bookmakers association over the last thirteen years, which has included:
- February 2010 – First national gambling helpline established, the Dunlewey helpline
- December 2013 – Publication of the first Responsible Gambling Code
- July 2014 – Think 21 – Age verification Code introduced
- April 2017 – Responsible Gambling training portal established
- February 2018 – Responsible Gambling Week launched
- March 2019 – Assisted in establishment of The Gambling Awareness Trust
- August 2021 – Update to the Safer Gambling Code, with international adoption