431. Deputy Noel Rock asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the Gambling Control Bill 2018 and the establishment of the gambling commission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12795/19]
Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality (Deputy David Stanton): The Deputy will be aware that the Gambling Control Bill 2018 is a Private Member’s Bill sponsored by Deputies Jim O’Callaghan, Jack Chambers and Anne Rabbitte. I am, therefore, not in a position to comment on the status of this Bill. The Government did not oppose this Bill, which entirely replicated the General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill approved by the Government in 2013, when it was introduced to the Dáil for Second Stage on 9 May 2018.
The Government, on 10 January, 2018, approved a review of the provisions of the 2013 General Scheme of the Gambling Control Bill and relevant developments since then. To achieve this objective, an Inter-Departmental Working Group on the Future Licensing and Regulation of Gambling, chaired by myself, comprising all stakeholder Departments, relevant Offices and the Office of the Attorney General met on six occasions between February 2018 and January 2019.
A key element of the Government Decision of 10 January 2018 was the concept of establishing a new gambling regulatory authority as an independent statutory body under the auspices of the Department of Justice and Equality.
The Government on 20 March, approved the Report of the Inter-Departmental Working Group and it has now been published on my Department's website. The Recommendations include the establishment of a new independent gambling regulatory authority.