Irish Gambling CEO search underway as Minister encourages applications

The application window for the position of CEO of the forthcoming Irish gambling regulator is open to a wide range of applicants according to Minister James Browne.

Responding to a question from Deputy Paul Donnelly of the Dáil Éireann, the Minister of State at the Department of Justice, assured representatives that the recruitment search for an inaugural CEO is wide reaching. 

Donnelly had requested that Browne confirm that the recruitment search for the CEO of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland would “be launched outside the state”.

Browne asserted that: “The Public Appointments Service is managing the recruitment in conjunction with an Executive Search Agency. Applications for the position of CEO Designate opened on 25 February 2022, and will remain open until 3:00pm on 21 March 2022. 

“All eligible candidates are encouraged to apply. Full details of eligibility requirements including citizenship criteria are included in the candidate booklet.

“The Programme for Government gives a clear commitment to establish a gambling regulator focused on public safety and well-being, covering gambling online and in person, and the powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.”

Establishment of a gambling regulator was one of the core objectives of the Interim Gaming and Lotteries Act’, passed by the Dáil Éireann in December 2020, and the Gambling Regulation Bill has subsequently been approved by the government for priority drafting and publication. 

Browne detailed yesterday that drafting of this Bill is underway, and that the legislation will set out the framework and legislative basis for the creation of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.

Additionally, in order to ensure the Authority can quickly commence operations after its establishment, a Programme Board has been put together to ensure that operational procedures are “progressed in parallel” with the legislation. 

The Authority is expected to enter into force in 2023, although some Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann delegates have called for its implementation earlier to address problem gambling in Ireland. 

In addition to creating a regulatory body, the overhaul of Ireland’s gambling legislation will also reportedly result in a ban on free bets and ‘VIP treatments’ for certain gamblers.

Although supportive of the plans for a regulator, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has expressed concern that a ban on free bets could “nudge gamblers who regularly use” these products towards unregulated black market operators. 

Additional developments over the past year have also seen calls for greater limitation of gambling advertising in Ireland, with the Irish Labour PartyGaelic Players Association (GPA) and Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) calling for a ban on televised sports betting commercials.

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