Ahern Publishes Report On Regulating Gaming In Ireland

Irish Minister For Justice, Equality & Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, TD, has published the Report of the Casino Committee – Regulating Gaming In Ireland!

This report makes some 32 recommendations that have significant public policy implications regarding the future architecture of many aspects of gaming and betting in Ireland. Announcing the publication, the Minister said: „I am very anxious that we get things right in relation to our gaming and betting codes.

In particular I want to ensure that betting and gaming activities are carried out within a responsible framework that recognises the reality of these activities, but which ensures they are properly managed, particularly as regards problem gamblers.“

The Minister said that because of technological advances associated with the online betting and gaming environments, the changing nature of gaming, the proliferation of private members‘ clubs offering a casino-style experience, the issues were complex and require further detailed analysis before Government is asked to make a formal decision on introducing any significant changes to the regulatory regime in the gaming and betting area.

The Minister continued: „I have published the Regulating Gaming in Ireland report in advance of setting up the informal Cross-Party Committee which is to be asked to examine all aspects of gaming in Ireland.

There has been some delay in getting all party agreement and nominees to sit on the informal Cross-Party Committee and I have decided that, rather than delaying the report further, to publish it now, allowing the summer recess for all parties to familiarise themselves with the contents of the report.“

Among the areas to be addressed by the Committee will be to:
  • reflect on and review the report „Regulating Gaming in Ireland“;
  • undertake public consultation in relation to the issues raised in the report;
  • consider in particular, the recommendations made on the nature of the regulatory and licensing system proposed;
  • take into account the wider implications of the public policy concerns, both in terms of the negative aspect of gaming / gambling and the issue of choice by adults to engage in such activity;
  • examine existing law regulating gaming and lotteries in the jurisdiction;
  • take account of international developments and examine, in particular, the experience of the United Kingdom which has recently enacted the Gambling Act 2005 and established a national regulator – the Gambling Commission;
  • take account of developments in relation to internet and remote gambling (e.g. via mobile phones);
  • conduct sectoral consultation in arriving at any conclusions;
  • evaluate the public policy concerns around gaming and gambling giving the diversity of opinion and the desirability of introducing policy proposals which would attract broad agreement,
  • provide an interim report on measures that could assist in supporting the horse racing and greyhound industries and any other matter that the committee considers to be of pressing public importance; and,
  • provide a final report to the Minister with recommendations on the future architecture for gaming in Ireland as soon as possible thereafter.
The informal committee is being established on Cross-Party lines from serving members of the Oireachtas (Parliament) and will be supported by staff from the Department of Justice, Equality & Law Reform. The Minister believes that an informal Cross-Party Committee is the most appropriate place now within which to tease out all the implications of the report and gaming in general.

Concluding, the Minister said: „It is still my intention to proceed with the establishment of the committee and my invitation to the Labour Party to participate on the committee remains open.

In the meantime the Minister looks forward to receiving any and all submissions / observations on the report – Regulating Gaming in Ireland and hopes this report will lead to general, well informed discussions with regard to gaming in Ireland.

The report is available on the Department’s website http://www.justice.ie or by going to http://www.coin-opnews.eu and clicking on Casino Committee Report.