Following Government approval, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, has published the General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill 2013. Work will now get underway on completing the drafting of the Bill.
The Gambling Control Bill 2013 aims to provide for a comprehensive new licensing and regulatory framework for gambling. The Bill proposes that anyone offering a gambling service in the State be required to hold a gambling licence. It also sets out arrangements for the licensing of casinos, stating that the number of casinos in the State be limited to 40 with no casino being permitted to have more than 15 tables.
The Bill, which extends to the licensing of on-line and electronic gambling, will repeal and replace all existing arrangements for the regulation of betting, gaming, bingo and lotteries (except for the National Lottery)
Minister Shatter, said, “This legislation has the twin objective of effectively regulating the new and dynamic gambling sector that has emerged in recent years, while also providing the opportunity to introduce important new measures to protect vulnerable adults and young people. The updated legislation and new regulatory regime will provide for a consistent interpretation and application of the law across all areas of gambling and as a result, it will bring legal certainty to the area. I believe that this Bill will give Ireland a well regulated gambling system that will be recognised as such internationally.”
Minister Shatter stressed that the new legislation will give added protection to all customers, “I am committed in particular to ensuring that there are effective and robust safeguards in place to protect young people and those for whom gambling has become a problem. The Bill introduces a range of new measures including the introduction of age restrictions; staff training; controls on advertising, promotions and sponsorship; the establishment of a new Social Gambling Fund to assist with treatment services; a new complaints procedure for consumers; and new arrangements to assist consumers seeking compensation from a licence holder.”
The General Scheme of the Bill can be viewed on the Department of Justice website.