I propose to take Questions Nos. 389 and 393 together.
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.
The Government has approved the Gambling Regulation Bill for priority drafting and publication.
The Bill will set out the framework and legislative basis for the establishment of a new independent, statutory body – the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland – to implement a robust regulatory and licensing regime for the gambling sector. Drafting of the Bill is now underway.
The General Scheme has been referred to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice for pre-legislative scrutiny.
A Programme Board has been established to ensure that the legislation and the operational preparations are progressed in parallel so that the Authority commences operations as soon as possible after enactment. There is a pathway mapped for this legislation progressing, which will facilitate the Authority being established and operational in 2023.
Last October, the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform sanctioned the recruitment of the CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, and the process is now well underway. The Public Appointments Service in conjunction with an Executive Search Agency is managing the recruitment, applications for which have now closed, in line with its normal processes, including confidentiality. The start date and on boarding process for the new CEO Designate will be determined once the successful candidate has been identified.