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Ireland Launches New Gambling Regulator and Regulations

Ireland is completely re-tooling its gaming regulatory structure with the launch of a new regulator, the Gambling Regulatory Authority, and a host of new regulations for it to enforce. The GRA is tasked with updating the rules governing online and land-based gaming – including licensing and player protection regulations.

One of the more significant elements of the GRA is that it centralizes oversight of the gaming industry into a single agency. In the past, gaming operators were governed by a dizzying array of government agencies that were housed everywhere from the Department of Justice to the Department of Revenue.

This new, centralized approach to gaming oversight is being welcomed by industry players including Ian Proctor, Chairman of Flutter UK and Ireland who commented on the GRA creation saying, “As a long-standing advocate of evidence-based safer gambling measures and a well-resourced regulator in Ireland, Flutter welcomes the imminent publication of the Gambling Regulation Bill. This development is a critical milestone and represents clear progress towards the establishment of a new Authority, which needs broad powers to respond to our dynamic and fast-changing industry.”

While operators are certainly welcoming less bureaucracy, they might be less enthused about some of the new rules the GRA is implementing. For starters, operators will be funding a new Social Impact Fund to combat problem gambling. The fund will supported by an as-yet-to-be-determined tax on operator revenue.
Operators will also be subject to a new advertising ban that covers the hours from 530 a.m. to 9 p.m.

That said, none of the new regulations are particularly onerous and modernizing Ireland’s gaming regulations and regulatory authority will serve both operators and players in the future.