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The DoJ in Ireland has announced it intends to get Irish gambling law passed this year

Late last week Ministers Harris and Browne published Justice Plan 2023. A framework building on Plans in 2021 and 2022 and outlining over 140 specific actions to continue building stronger, safer communities in Ireland.

One of those elements is the previously unreachable Gambling Regulation Bill (GRB) [2022]

which was published Friday, 2 December 2022, and has had a better-than-average chance to become law since that time.

The legislation marks a watershed achievement in Irish history as it sets out to repeal existing gambling law in Ireland which is seen by many as antiquated and incompetent in nearly every respect.

In order to become law, the legislation must move through the parliamentary process including approval by Oireachtas – two houses of the national parliament and a signature by the president,

Establishes Licensing and Regulatory Body

The new framework establishes a regulatory and licensing body that is currently being referred to by the working name of the “Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland” (GRAI) [Údarás Rialála Cearrbhachais na hÉireann].

Minister of State with responsibility for Law Reform and Youth Justice; Browne said: “Justice Plan 2022 delivered significant progress across the justice system and, in particular, it delivered one of my key priorities, to publish the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022.

As committed to in the program for government, this bill is a true milestone and long-awaited legislation. It is an important and necessary bill and reform, designed to meet the challenges of gambling responsibly in 21st century Ireland.”

The Department of Justice (An Roinn Dlí agus Cirt) is headed up by Minister for Justice: Simon Harris, TD; Minister of State for Youth Justice and Law Reform: James Browne, and Secretary General of the Department: Oonagh McPhillips. The DOJ will participate in managing the creation of the GRAI.

Process to be Facilitated by Department of Justice

According to a report in Gaming Compliance News, the DOJ said: “We will also support the establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority, and the CEO designate of the authority, as we progress the Gambling Regulation Bill towards enactment and commencement later this year – introducing a robust regulatory and licensing system for gambling in Ireland.”

The priority to “support the establishment of the Gambling Regulation Authority” is found in the second section of Justice Plan 2023 under the goal, “Improve access to justice and modernize the courts system”.

The announcement of priorities, support, and goals noted in its conclusion: “It is important to note that the milestones and achievements reflected upon from 2022, as well as the actions and objectives for the year ahead, provide just a snapshot of the substantial program of work being delivered on by the Department of Justice and across the sector comprising 29 bodies and agencies”.

Source: Ministers Harris and Browne publish Justice Plan 2023, Ireland Department of Justice, April 6, 2023

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