And to be honest, we’re happy about this, although it will affect Media owners income. That said, it’s worth it. Mind you, it doesn’t apply to the Lottery which is…well….

From The Journal November 16. Gambling ads to be banned before 9pm watershed under new laws

GAMBLING ADVERTS WILL not be allowed before a 9pm watershed, under new legislation approved by Cabinet this morning. The Gambling Regulation Bill, which has been led by Minister of State James Browne in the Department of Justice, aims to provide a more modern and improved approach to the licencing and regulation of gambling in Ireland today.

It will recognise the variety of gambling activities available in the State and the impact of technology on the gambling industry in Ireland.  It will also see stricter regulation of gambling advertising, with a watershed prohibiting gambling advertising – including online ads – between 5:30am and 9:00pm to be introduced.

ATMs will also be banned from bookmakers’ shops. The legislation will also establish, for the first time, a statutory body to regulate the sector. The Gambling Regulatory Authority will focus on public safety and wellbeing, covering in-person and online gambling. It will also have powers to regulate advertising, gambling websites and apps.


Speaking at a press conference today, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the bill would put in place “a series of safeguards to protect people from falling prey to gambling addiction.”

“There are, of course, many people in our country will enjoy a bet and for whom it’s part of their social life. But we must also acknowledge and safeguard against the truly awful impact that gambling addiction can and does have on some families and communities.”

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee added: “Something that I’ve seen more and more in my constituency in recent years is the age at which people are becoming addicted.

It doesn’t just impact the individual themselves, but it can have huge ramifications for their family, their extended family as well, because so often people want to help and want to to be able to help that individual get over the financial burdens that they’re landed with


In September, Browne announced the appointment of Anne Marie Caulfield as the new CEO of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.

It is expected that the authority will commence operations as soon as possible after the draft Gambling Regulation Bill is enacted, with the authority to become operational in 2023. Browne said today that a gambling regulator will have the power to “appropriately, meaningfully and swiftly respond to ongoing and future developments in the gambling sector. “Under the legislation, advertising intended to appeal to children, and advertising that promotes excessive or compulsive gambling, will be prohibited. A watershed prohibiting gambling advertising at certain times of the day, between 5:30am and 9pm will be introduced.

“In this digital age, to address the particular proliferation of young advertising on social media, such advertising will be prohibited by default.” Online gambling advertising will only be visible on an opt-in basis, Browne said, such as users being asked to tick a box asking if they want to receive ads for betting agents. Sponsorship of clubs by betting companies will be prohibited if the club has juvenile members.

Browne said that a total ban on gambling ads was considered, but was deemed to be “disproportionate”.

“Gambling is a legal activity, it’s carried out by many people in a safe manner,” he said. “Our aim here is to ensure that vulnerable gambling users are protected and that children are protected.”

The National Lottery is not included in the new regulations, as it is covered by separate legislation. Campaigners have long said the industry cannot be allowed to self-regulate, and that Ireland should introduce legislation to regulate an industry that has seen revenues skyrocket in recent decades.

The Irish Government, however, has been somewhat slow to regulate the gambling arena.  As far back as 2013, the Government was seeking to create new laws around gambling in Ireland and a regulator to oversee it. In 2005, the UK Gambling Commission was set up, however, it has only been in the last two years that there has been movement.

With reporting by Christina Finn, Tadgh McNally and Emer Moreau