Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland
The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI) is a new statutory body that will be responsible for the licensing and regulation of gambling services in Ireland. The GRAI will be independent in the performance of its functions.
The GRAI has not been established yet. The new regulator will focus on public safety and wellbeing, will cover gambling online and in person, and will have powers to regulate advertising, gambling, websites, and apps.
Licensing and regulation of gambling in Ireland is currently based on several pieces of legislation. The new legislation, which will establish the GRAI, will repeal existing laws and will streamline the approach to licensing and regulation of gambling in Ireland.
The National Lottery will not be covered by the new legislation and will remain separately regulated.
Members of the GRAI
The GRAI will comprise seven members, including an appointed Chairperson, with relevant experience in related matters, including:
- Legal or compliance in a regulated setting
- Gambling activities
- Consumer affairs
- The pathology and treatment of addiction, particularly gambling addiction
- Information and communications technology
- Financial services, including audit and forensic accounting practice
The members will comprise no fewer than 3 men and no fewer than 3 women. The members will be appointed by the Minister for Justice following a competition held by the Public Appointments Service.
Functions of the GRAI
The GRAI will have a wide variety of functions, including:
- Regulating the provision of gambling services and activities, both online and in person
- Developing safeguards to protect consumers from problem gambling, including establishment of a National Gambling Exclusion Register and a Social Impact Fund to finance research, training, and education on gambling addiction
- Licensing of gambling services and activities, including maintaining a register of all licensed operators and determining license fees
- Ensuring compliance by gambling providers with restrictions imposed on advertising and sponsorship, including a statutory watershed prohibiting gambling advertising between the hours of 5.30am and 9.00pm on television, radio or on-demand audio-visual media
- Receiving, investigating and addressing complaints about gambling providers
- Ensuring compliance by gambling providers with the Criminal Justice (Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2010, and addressing money laundering activities in the context of gambling services
- Keeping the Minister of Justice informed of developments relating to the regulation and licensing of gambling services and making recommendations on policies
- Promoting public awareness and disseminating information to the public about regulation and licensing of gambling activities
Types of gambling licenses
The GRAI will oversee the introduction of three types of licenses for both in-person and online or remote betting:
- Business to Consumer Gaming, Betting and Lottery Licenses
- Business to Business Licences
- Gambling licenses for Charitable/Philanthropic Causes
When will the GRAI be established?
The new regulatory body falls under the remit of the Department of Justice. Budget 2023 confirmed that the Department of Justice has been allocated €3.3 billion in 2023, which includes funding for the new gambling regulator.
The Gambling Regulation Bill 2022
The Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 (pdf) is a draft of the proposed new law which will establish the GRAI. This was published in December 2022. The Bill is progressing through the different stages of legislation necessary to become law. You can see the progress of the Bill on the House of Oireachtas website.
The Department of Justice has established a Programme Board to ensure legislation and operational preparations are progressed at the same time so that, once the Bill becomes law, the GRAI can commence operations as soon as possible.
It is expected that the GRAI will be established and operational in 2023.
Help for problem gambling
There are addiction treatment services available with different options depending on your needs. The Department of Justice has also published a list of contact details for external Problem Gambling Support Services (pdf).