The Republic of Ireland’s Government is setting up a new gambling regulatory body, an Inter-Departmental Working Group has announced.
Ireland’s Reformed Gambling Regulation
Gambling in the United Kingdom has been rapidly changing these past few years. From raising tax to introducing gaming restrictions, the UK has been in a metaphorical regulatory uproar. Companies followed with a voluntary watershed ban and now – the Republic of Ireland is following suite by going its own way.
The first step is to introduce a new national regulator which has been worked on by an inter-Departmental Woking Group. In a recently published report by the Group, Minister of State David Stanton has said that the country needs to catch up on how it oversees its gambling sector.
The crux of the problem lies with the lack of a properly-determined framework that allows businesses to set up their gaming shops, whether online or offline. In fact, the existing regulation mainly pertains to the National Lottery.
The Republic’s New Regulatory – What’s That About?
A new regulatory body, if passed, would be tasked with a number of pressing issues that pertain to the industry, including outlining clear licensing rules, raising awareness about gambling-related issues, and coordinating efforts with cross-border regulators to help slash match-fixing and guarantee the fairness of independent contests.
Mr. Stanton seems committed to uphold all the best practices of the neighboring UK in order to ensure better standards for the home industry:
As the gambling industry changes, and indeed as the demographics and motivations of its customers change, so must the State’s licensing and regulatory approach.
Some concerns have been raised about allocating tax money to create the new regulator, but to this, the Working Group has responded by saying that the new watchdog can be self-sufficient by introducing a plausible licensing model that can be used to guarantee the financial independence of the future body.
The Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA) has also commented that the establishment of one such regulator can help the gambling industry in the country take a course for the better. According to Chairperson Sharon Byrne, IBA has already been working in the same direction that the newly-proposed regulator would be charged with:
We are hopeful that this will be the final step towards completion and enactment of a Gambling Control bill and independent regulator. Our members have already introduced many of the advertising standards, customer monitoring and customer protection measures recommended by regulators in other countries.
Ultimately, any new regulator will be tasked with ensuring that business and customers operate in slightly safer environments, making it possible for the state to start gathering precious revenue and rev up the security measures for players.