Overhaul of gambling laws ‘desperately needed’ but new bill may prove tricky given market complexity

Fifteen years in the offing, a new bill has been produced with the promise of a new gambling regulator being established next year, but there may be more than a few hurdles before it becomes law

There are around 12,000 problem gamblers in Ireland and a further 125,000 people who are ‘at-risk’ gamblers, according to a recent report by the Health Research Board.

It was in 2008 that Dermot Ahern, the Justice Minister at the time, published a report called “Regulating Gaming.”

The focus at the time was more on private casinos and gambling machines because the online gambling industry was only in its infancy.

However, the report did recommend a “gaming regulatory authority” which would have the power to regulate all types of gaming, including “remote or online gaming”.

The Fine Gael-Labour government promised to set up ...