Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI): What tasks does the new authority have?

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The gambling market has been growing steadily since casinos were first established, back in the 17th century. However, it truly reached new heights in the 20th century. It was during this time that gambling hubs like Monte Carlo, Macau, and Las Vegas flourished.

Of course, by the century’s end, digital technology had become so advanced, that online casinos became possible. With the rise of online casinos, gambling is more popular than ever. However, the rise of this new industry demands new restrictions and regulatory measures.

Regulation of Online Casinos

Governments all over the world have taken some strict measures involving online casinos in the past two decades. Some have resorted to measures that could be called “extreme.” For example, in parts of the USA, Europe, and Asia, online gambling has been made illegal.

Some would criticise this decision, and argue that it does more harm than good. After all, when presented with the option of online gambling, most people are going to take it. Since they are going to gamble anyways, some would argue it is better to do so in a regulated market.

That is why, a lot of countries are legalising iGaming, and creating regulatory authorities, designed to make sure these games are safe. For example, there are plenty of safe online casinos in Ireland, where gamblers can play for real money.

In order to maintain a safe gambling industry, both online and offline, the Republic of Ireland has recently established the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, henceforth referred to as GRAI. But, what tasks does GRAI have, and what exactly is the authority’s purpose? That is what we are here to talk about.

What is GRAI?

The Gambling Authority of Ireland, or GRAI, is a newly established statutory body, that is going to be responsible for the licensing and regulation aspect of the Irish gambling market. Some of you may not be familiar with the term licensing, and exactly what it entails.

In essence, a license is a sort of stamp of approval. What it means is quite simple; a license means that a certain organisation (in this case GRAI) has reviewed the gambling establishment (online or offline), and has approved it for business. For the most part, gamblers tend to look for domestically licensed websites.

Sometimes, a license may be acquired from a foreign country. The Malta Gaming Authority and the Curacao Gambling License are two, incredibly popular offshore licenses, that usually carry a lot of respect in the international scene. Some other European countries also come with a trustworthy international license, such as the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission. Up until recently, most online casinos in Ireland were under the authority of the aforementioned associations.

What is GRAI’s Task?

So, now that we know what GRAI is, and what is its purpose, we should also look at the specific tasks that have been given to this new authority in Ireland. Starting with the most important one; taking control of new legislation.

For a while now, Irish gamblers have been raising a ruckus about the confusing, and sometimes contradictory laws regarding online and land-based casinos in the country. With GRAI, it seems the government is seeking to simplify these legislations, and create a more streamlined industry.

Through establishing GRAI, the government is hoping to repeal past laws that they have deemed obsolete, and create a new and improved system, based on recent findings and studies regarding the iGaming industry in 2024.

The GRAI will also overlook the sports betting industry, which many consider its own thing. However, online casinos often double as bookies, and many lump gambling and betting together, under the iGaming moniker.

Therefore, if you are a fan of sports, like the Ladies Gaelic Football League, or even just good old football, and you like to bet on a match here and there, you ought to be interested in the new organisation, and the measures it will take to ensure a safer online sports betting industry.

Specific Functions

We know what the GRAI is and we know its main task. But, it would also do some good to learn about the specific functions of the new organisation. Just how is the new Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland meant to create a safer industry for all? Well, they’ve come up with a few ideas, and we are going to look at them in this section.

  • Protect the Consumer

First and foremost, it is the GRAI’s goal to ensure a safe market for Irish consumers. The main goal is to make sure that the effects of problem gambling are minimised, and create an industry that prevents children from accessing any establishments meant for gambling, online or offline. In doing so, the GRAI is creating a safer and more productive industry for all.

  • Research on Compulsive Gambling

The GRAI is also set to establish two sub-organisations, whose main goal will be to do research regarding compulsive gambling and addiction, in order to examine the psychological triggers that might lead to such afflictions. These organisations are the National Gambling Exclusion Register and the Social Impact Fund. They will also provide training and education, for anyone suffering from problem gambling.

  • Collaboration with the Government

One of the GRAI’s primary roles is to keep the government, specifically the Minister of Justice, informed on any new developments concerning gambling, regulation, licensing, and iGaming. The service is also going to play a role in future policies, and provide consultations as well as recommendations on legislation.

  • Public Awareness

The GRAI is also responsible for promoting awareness regarding gambling to the public. Educating new and seasoned gamblers alike is a very important task, and will almost certainly lead to a safe and productive industry.

Some Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the numerous tasks given to the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland, which was established in 2024. If all goes according to plan, the service should prove incredibly useful, and may just result in what is certainly a safer and more welcoming gambling market for newcomers, as well as for those who’ve been gambling for a long time.