Bookies welcome gambling regulator appointment

Senior civil servant Anne Marie Caulfield to head gambling authority

Bookies have welcomed the appointment of Anne Marie Caulfield as head of the industry’s planned new regulator.

The Government this week named Ms Caulfield as chief executive of the proposed gambling regulatory authority of Ireland, which will be created if the Oireachtas passes legislation due to be published in the autumn.

Conor Grant, chief executive of Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment’s UK and Ireland division, welcomed the news. Flutter Entertainment is headquartered in the Republic.

“This represents clear progress towards the establishment of the authority, which should have broad powers to respond to the dynamic and fast-paced nature of our industry,” he said.

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Chairwoman of the Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA) Sharon Byrne said the organisation looked forward to dealing with Ms Caulfield when she takes up her role next year.

“This represents a major milestone in the development of the regulation of the sector, which the IBA has called for over many years,” added Ms Byrne.

Under the proposed Gambling Regulation Bill, the new authority will license and regulate betting businesses in the Republic.

It will have broad powers to enforce the law, including imposing various financial sanctions on businesses that do not comply with the rules.

Ms Caulfield was previously director of the Residential Tenancies Board as well as holding other roles in the Republic’s civil service.

Successive governments have pledged to update laws governing gambling in the Republic, but the legislation due to be published in the autumn will be the first proposed change since the 1950s.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas