The Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Mr Michael McDowell TD, announced today that the Government has agreed his proposals for the establishment of a Committee (the Casino Regulation Committee) to report on the possibilities for a legislative basis for the strict regulation of casino-style operations in the State.
The Minister said, "The unregulated nature of casino-style activities is a major concern of the Government. The establishment of this Committee is a major step towards addressing this situation and I look forward to the report of the Committee in the coming months. I expect that the legislative proposals will bring about strict regulation over the establishment of and operation of casinos while ensuring that public and local interests are served."
The Minister added, "The views of the Financial Action Task Force which has commented unfavourably on the current situation in Ireland as regards casino operations and money laundering are also of concern and I have ensured that those views will be taken into account in the compilation of the Committee's report."
The Casino Regulation Committee will report to the Government by the end of October, 2006 on:
- The possibilities for a legislative basis for the strict regulation of casino-style operations in the State;
- The form of regulation, the functions and powers of any regulatory body, the licensing system, codes of practice, investigation of complaints, entry and inspection, appeals against decisions, the nature and type of offences, internet gambling etc.;
- The role of local authorities;
- The requirements of the Financial Action Task Force.
Michael McGrath, a barrister with experience in the licensing area has agreed to be the chairman of the Committee that will comprise representatives of the Department of Finance, the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, the Revenue Commissioners, the Garda Siochana and the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform.
The Committee will shortly be advertising in the national newspapers inviting submissions from interested parties, groups or individuals in relation to the regulation of casinos.
14 August 2006