The Irish Government announced on 2 March 2009 that it is to begin regulating casino clubs, which currently exist in a legal grey area, as a first step in an overhaul of the existing gambling legislation in Ireland. It is believed the legislation will be included in the upcoming Anti-Money Laundering Bill.  

The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform Dermot Ahern is planning a two-step approach. Firstly, to set up a casino gaming control unit in his Department to register and control casinos and secondly, to produce legislation for a revised gambling code.  

He commented that the new system will involve voluntary compliance by private members’ clubs with a code of standards, ethics and compliance with any new anti-money laundering and terrorist financing legislation. Minister Ahern added that the long-term plan is to put in place “a modern, responsive code that recognises the fact that some people gamble and enjoy gambling”.  

This announcement follows the Government report published last year entitled “Regulating Gaming in Ireland" which recommended the licensing and regulating of casinos.  

The gaming control unit will carry out a review which will look at the opportunities and threats posed by the online gaming industry, developments in the UK and the out-of-date nature of current legislation in Ireland.