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Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority names first CEO

Ireland gambling industry overhaul

Anne Marie Caulfield, a senior civil servant, will serve as the CEO of Ireland’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) when it is officially established next year.

James Browne, the Junior Justice Minister of State in charge of Law Reform, announced the appointment of Ms. Caulfield and insisted her experience would be a major asset to the structural phases of the gambling regulatory body and its operations.

“I am delighted to announce the appointment of Anne Marie Caulfield, who will bring a wealth of professional experience and expertise to the role,” he said.

“Anne Marie’s preparatory work over the coming months, in parallel with the drafting and passage of the enabling legislation, will ensure that the Regulatory Authority will be ready to hit the ground running upon its establishment.

“She is working closely with my Department to identify staffing and resourcing needs and to develop procedures for how the Authority will function once operational.

“The early appointment of the CEO Designate will bring the benefit of continuity and leadership for the new Authority in its formative stages through to its formal establishment and commencement of its regulatory functions next year.”

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Ms. Caulfield previously worked for Ireland’s Department of Finance, and she served as the Director of the Residential Tenancies Board in Ireland from 2008 to 2016. She has also been involved in EU Cohesion policy negotiations and recently oversaw the Capability Review Programme – an integral item on the nation’s Civil Service Reform 2030 agenda.

Commenting on her new role as CEO of Ireland’s gambling regulatory body, Ms. Caulfield declared her dedication to upholding all areas of the position while also working amicably with the team and providing solutions that would advance the industry.

“It is a great privilege to be appointed as CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland. Effective and efficient regulation of this sector is crucial and I relish the challenge of putting that framework in place,” she said.

“The Authority must be built on a foundation of robust legislation and I welcome the progress to date of the draft Gambling Regulation Bill.

“I look forward to developing a close working relationship with all of the stakeholders in the sector, Gambling Regulators elsewhere in the EU, and with Department of Justice officials.”

The GRA’s launch date is still being finalized. Ireland must adopt new gambling regulations before it can begin. That is most likely to be delivered between now and October.

The GRA will govern both offline and internet gambling, with an introductory budget of up to €700,000. It will formulate laws to handle gambling advertising as well as the design and layout of websites and mobile applications.

The final regulations and restrictions may also encompass various other policies, including the use of free bets or any other inducements. There will also be regulations that completely ban the establishment of VIP memberships.

Furthermore, initiating and implementing safe gambling programs will fall under the purview of the regulator. Companies and operators that disregard the rules will be liable to financial penalties and additional punitive measures. According to the current draft, the regulator can issue fines of up to €20 million or 10% of operator turnover.

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