In March 2019, an Inter-Departmental Working Group on the Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling appointed by the Irish Government presented a report recommending a significant reform of the Irish licensing and regulatory approach to gambling.
The working group proposed two key recommendations in the report namely, the publication of the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019 which shall amend the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956, and the establishment of an independent gaming regulatory authority which shall oversee all the gambling activity in Ireland under the auspices of the Department of Justice and Equality. Both the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority were considered as worthy of serving as critical reference points for the development of such Irish regulatory authority.
Furthermore, all businesses that enable remote betting with customers located in Ireland must hold a Remote Bookmaker’s Licence. The current licensing period will end on 30 June 2019 after which period all related licences will expire. Therefore, all current remote bookmakers or remote betting intermediaries are encouraged to begin the rigorous renewal process soon in order to ensure that they receive their licence on time. In view of this process, consideration must be given to the changes made to the Irish anti-money laundering (‘AML’) legislation in 2018 which changes have, for the first time, brought gambling service providers within the realm of the Irish AML legislation.