Ireland Appoints First Ever Gambling Regulator

Ireland has taken a step in the right direction this week, announcing Anne Marie Caulfield as CEO of the Gambling Regulatory Authority. The newly appointed CEO will lead the soon-to-be-created organisation, in what is a much-awaited move to address unregulated online gambling in the country.

Anne Marie Caulfield Selected as CEO
Anne Marie Caulfield has been selected as the Chief Executive Officer Designate of the soon-to-be-established Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.

Following a recruitment process led by James Browne, Ireland’s Junior Justice Minister, Caulfield was appointed to the position. She has a background as a civil servant, having previously worked for the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, during which she was the Residential Tenancies Board director from 2008 to 2016.

Photo by Kaysha on Unsplash

Speaking about her appointment, Caulfield said, “It is a great privilege to be appointed as CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland. Effective and efficient regulation of this sector is crucial, and I relish the challenge of putting that framework in place.”

The position will start officially next year, with the Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority not yet established.

Step in the Right Direction for Ireland
The appointment of Anne Marie Caulfield is a promising step in the right direction for the gambling industry in Ireland.

Ireland’s gambling market has boomed over the past decade. This has mainly been due to growth online, with acceleration during the pandemic. The majority of Irish citizens have now visited a casino online, with an estimated $10 billion gambled per year.

At the beginning of this boom, almost ten years ago, plans for legislation that would reform Ireland’s gambling laws were first discussed. However, government inaction has led this legislation to be parked, and it has been sitting idle until now.

“Greater regulation of the gambling industry in Ireland has long been called for and is a key priority for me as Minister,” Junior Justice Minister James Browne said, following the appointment of Caulfield.

The Future of Irish Gambling
There’s no doubt that healthy gambling is a part of Irish culture—having a wager on the football at the pub has long been a part of the standard Saturday afternoon for many punters.

Currently, the gambling industry in Ireland is regulated by the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956. This legislation is outdated, as it presently bans all casinos in the country, and was made well before online gambling came into existence. However, gambling still occurs in Ireland, just in ‘gambling clubs’, which are casinos in all but name. Add to this the rising issues caused by unregulated online gambling, and updated regulation is well overdue.

The new Gambling Regulatory Authority which is set to come into place next year will have the power to regulate and fine any gambling providers which break rules, online or otherwise. It will also legalise the existence of 40 casinos across the country, with a maximum of 15 tables each.

This is a step in the right direction for Ireland, to ensure that gambling remains fun, accessible and safe for its citizens.

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