As the Department of Justice in Ireland works toward implementing the new Gambling Regulation Act, junior justice minister James Browne TD has announced that a chief executive for the Gambling Regulatory Authority is being sought to oversee the operations and execute responsibilities as an independent regulator answering directly to the Department of Justice.
The application period for CEO Designate opened on 25 February 2022 and will remain open until 3:00 pm on 21 March 2022. The recruitment is being managed by the Public Appointments Service in concert with an Executive Search Agency. According to the pathway mapped for the completion of the legislation progressing, the Authority is expected to be established and operational in 2023.
A Focus on Consumer Protection
The general scheme of the Act was published last year and the bill is currently undergoing pre-legislative scrutiny by Ireland‘s Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice. The bill is expected to include specific guidance on mobile gaming age verification, spending limits, and prohibitions on certain promotions like free bets that could be seen as attracting vulnerable customers back to gambling.
Minister Browne said in a statement that regulators will, “regulate gambling, gaming, and lottery services by both the commercial and non-commercial providers of such services, including their advertising, in order to achieve a high degree of compliance with the act“.
According to a report in the Irish Examiner, Browne has stated the Gambling Authority could have a staff of up to 100 and would eventually be self-supporting through the industry but would initially be backed by €8m to €12m from the government during the first few years of oversight and enforcement operations.
Wide-Ranging Enforcement Authority
As is the case in the UK, the Authority will have the ability to issue sanctions and fine operators who breach the responsibilities of their licenses. Moreover, the gambling regulator will have powers to interrupt any operator deemed to be supporting any sort of crime including money laundering as well as enforcement authority advertising including sponsorships as well as licensing itself.
The Designee, he said, “will effectively be a CEO with a staff of up to 100 employees — a range of experts who will be public servants rather than civil servants. I look forward to the appointment of the regulator in the coming months,” said Browne. He also stated, “The gambling regulator will have the powers to hold the gambling industry responsible for their actions,” he said.
The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform sanctioned the recruitment of the CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland last October.