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Update on the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022

The Oireachtas has now published the second draft of the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022. Following a lengthy debate, this second draft was approved by the Select Committee on Justice (Committee) on 11 July 2023. Although the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 has yet to pass through the final stage of the Dáil, and all stages of the Seanad, it is still expected to be signed into law this year. We focus on some of the new amendments to the draft legislation. For a general overview of the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 generally, please see our previous article.

The revised Gambling Regulation Bill has a number of significant amendments. Many relate to the power and scope of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI). This is the new statutory body that will be responsible for licensing and regulation of gambling services in Ireland. However, the primary concerns raised by operators, such as the ban on advertising without explicit consent, restrictions on the daily times when gambling advertisements are permitted and the ban on inducements to gambling activities, remain unchanged.

Some particular points for gambling operators and other industry stakeholders to note are:

Inducements to promotions

The proposal to ban inducements to individuals to participate in gambling activities, such as free hospitality, free bets and special offers, has been a topic of concern to many gambling operators. The proposed ban remains in place in the new draft of the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 and the legislative provisions surrounding its operation are unchanged. Interestingly, however, Deputy James Browne noted as part of the Dáil debate on the legislation, that the wording of proposed ban remains subject to further consideration by the Committee together with the Office of the Attorney General. This is certainly an area to be monitored as, while there are no major policy changes to the proposed ban at present, its wording and detail may change as the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 continues through the legislative process.

Business-to-Business (B2B) licences

The proposal to streamline the licensing framework for all forms of in-person and remote / online gambling in Ireland has also been the subject of further clarification. In the original wording, gambling operators were required to apply for a gambling licence in order to supply relevant gambling products and services to other gambling operators / licensees in Ireland. The Oireachtas deemed that the original wording used could be interpreted that the holder of a B2B licence must be located in Ireland. However, the Oireachtas have now clarified that any person, no matter where that person is based, i.e whether inside or outside of Ireland, who wishes to supply gambling products and services to a person in Ireland will be required to hold a B2B licence issued by the GRAI.

Publication of standards by the GRAI

The GRAI will have the ability to develop and publish on its website standards for the installation, maintenance and repair of gaming machines or upgrading of software used in gambling activities. These standards will now come into effect six months after they are published, which will result in shorter lead-in times for operators to adopt the relevant standards. Furthermore, a B2B licence application may not be granted without a certificate to demonstrate compliance with the standards after the six month lead-in period has expired.

Charitable / philanthropic licences

Gambling licences for charitable or philanthropic purposes will now be generally subject to a one year duration period. Licences issued for once-off gaming, betting or lottery activities shall expire on the earlier of one year from the date the licence is issued or two months after the once-off activity has completed.

Prohibition on sponsorship of certain events

Operators who hold either a Business – to – Consumer Licence or a Business – to – Business Licence will be prohibited from sponsoring:

  • Any events for which the majority of the persons attending or competing in the event are children
  • Any events that are aimed at children
  • An organisation, club or team in which children are members
  • A premises that is used by an organisation, club or team referred to above, or
  • A public activity that appeals to children

Exclusion register

The National Gambling Exclusion Register to be established under the new legislation has also been the subject of some tightened changes. Individuals will now also be required to provide the detail of each of their accounts held with gambling operators, as well as their own personal details, in order to be placed on the exclusion register. The GRAI will then notify the relevant gambling operators, who in turn must refund any money in that person’s gambling account where they hold an account with the gambling operator.

Expansion of powers of the GRAI

The GRAI will be empowered to cooperate and work closely together with a number of other regulatory bodies such as the Charities Regulator, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, the newly established Coimisiún na Meán and the Revenue Commissioners. It may also enter into information-sharing agreements with these bodies, as well as with the Garda Siochana, the Companies Registration Office, the Corporate Enforcement Authority and the Criminal Assets Bureau, to enable it to perform its regulatory functions as well the functions of those other named state bodies.


We expect the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 to be signed into law later this year. Once published, it will be known as the Gambling Regulation Act 2023.

For more information on how the new regulatory regime can and will affect your business operations following enactment, contact a member of our Technology

In addition, our Technology team will conduct a webinar Gambling Reform in Ireland: Introducing the new legal and regulatory requirements” on 18 October 2023. To register for this webinar, please visit the event webpage.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

People Also Ask

What is the Gambling Regulation Bill 2021?

The Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 was first published by the Oireachtas in December 2022. The Bill proposes a radical overhaul of the law on gambling in Ireland, and the industry will no doubt welcome the certainty new regulation will bring to the sector. The second draft of the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 was published by the Oireachtas on 11 July 2023.

When was the Gambling Regulation Bill published?

The Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 was first published by the Oireachtas in December 2022. The second draft of the Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 was published by the Oireachtas on 11 July 2023.

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