A new government report in Ireland could recommend the creation of a new gambling regulator that could be self-financed via levies and fees on operators. The body is to be given the responsibility for licensing and regulation of thousands of Irish gaming machines.
The Cabinet is expected to approve a plan that will establish a gambling regulatory authority. They will also create a new social fund that will be supported by the levies on licensed operators in the country. The fund pool will be used to support research, information campaigns, and treatment of those harmfully affected because of gambling.
David Stanton, the minister of state at the Department of Justice will publish a report from an interdepartmental working group, that details regulations for the gambling sector. The report may also recommend the creation of a new gambling regulator. The Cabinet can also approve the new Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019’s publication.
The bill will bring some important interim reforms a regulator is established. Sources suggest that it will bring some clarity on the licensing and permit approach of the government to local and small-scale gaming and lottery activity. It will update the prize limits as well as stake while recommending the minimum gambling age of 18. It does not, however, propose any changes to the current law and its provisions which means that the government will not play any role in licensing new gaming machines. The local authorities, revenue commissioners and district courts will have more power to grant licenses for gaming machines.
Earlier this week, the Irish Times revealed that last year, 32 new licensed were granted every day for these gaming machines despite the significant risks they carry. When the interdepartmental report is out, the responsibility of these machines will be shifted directly to the new regulatory body. The goal of the report is to ultimately let the body finance its activities via proceeds from levies and fees applied to the operators. This will help keep it independent of outside pressure.
It will also help in developing and enforcing appropriate licensed and regulatory measures for online gambling. According to sources, the Department of Justice has already started working on the legislation and is currently busy exploring the resources needed to start this regulatory regime. The report by the interdepartmental group will be treated as a blueprint for future laws and regulations.