Irish betting industry welcomes the publication of the General Scheme of Gambling Regulation Bill

The Irish Bookmakers Association(IBA), which represents over 750 of the 803 betting shops in Ireland, welcomes the publication of the General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill.

The Bill gives a clear commitment to establish a gambling regulator focused on public safety and well-being, covering gambling online and in person, with the powers to issue and enforce standards, award or revoke licences,  and apply financial sanctions or penaltiesWe believe that it is in the interests of both consumers and operators that a properly resourced body is established as soon as possible, to regulate this ever changing sector and ensure all operators abide by the highest standards of safer gambling.

Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the IBA said:  “The bill is very comprehensive and gives the new authority a lot of power and flexibility to regulate an ever evolving industry.  Some of the measures included in the bill are already voluntarily in place by some operators, and improve upon customer protections, but the regulator can ensure all operators are applying a comprehensive set of standards across their business and for their customers.  The bill also provides for the Authority to have the ability to force advertisers, social media platforms and service providers to comply with their codes, which will be important to ensure consistency of protection and adherence to codes and standards across all operators. 

It is also very helpful that the bill and regulations will apply to unlicensed operators. This is an area we have been highlighting for years.  As new regulations are adopted by licensed operators it should not provide an opportunity for unlicensed operators to benefit or grow. The bill gives sweeping powers to the regulator for search and investigation of such operators, along with the ability to impose sanctions or penalties.”

There are other areas in the bill which will need further clarification and development by the new regulator, such as treatment of Free bets, bet acceptance and the application of an exclusionary database.  However, the bill in general and its intentions are very clear and fair.  We look forward to working with the regulator, to introduce and enforce practical and effective regulation of gambling in Ireland.

The General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill can be viewed at: General Scheme of the Gambling Regulation Bill

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