Body operational in 2023

Ireland appoints Anne Marie Caulfield as CEO of first gambling industry regulator

Minister of State James Browne, who announced the appointment Thursday.
Reading time 1:53 min

James Browne TD, the Minister of State in charge of Law Reform, announced Thursday the appointment of Anne Marie Caulfield as the new Chief Executive Officer Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland.

Legislation that will provide for the establishment of the country's new regulatory authority is currently being prepared for publication in autumn. The regulator is expected to become operational in 2023.

Plans to establish a gaming regulator were first unveiled in 2019, and a bill that outlined those plans was released in October 2021. The legislation stated that the gambling regulator would have complete power over licensing and gambling advertising in the nation.

The Department of Justice has established a Programme Board to oversee the process and to ensure that the different work streams are progressed in parallel to the legislative process. In combination with the early appointment of a CEO Designate, this is aimed at minimizing the time between the enactment of the legislation and the date on which the regulator commences operations

Caulfield’s appointment follows an open, international competition run by the Public Appointments Services. In a statement, Minister Browne spoke about Caulfield’s appointment and said that she will “bring a wealth of professional experience and expertise to the role”.

The appointment of the CEO Designate is an important milestone in the future establishment of the Gambling Regulatory Authority, advancing a key Programme for Government commitment. Greater regulation of the gambling industry in Ireland has long been called for and is a key priority for me as a Minister," he added. 

Browne also stated that this is an “incredibly important piece of work from a social perspective, and will make a real difference in preventing harm to people from problem gambling," while ensuring “modern and effective” licensing and regulatory measures.

The Minister also pointed out Caulfield’s work will ensure that the Regulatory Authority will be “ready to hit the ground running upon its establishment," and added that she is “working closely with my Department to identify staffing and resourcing needs and to develop procedures for how the Authority will function once operational."

According to Browne, the early appointment of the CEO Designate will bring continuity and leadership to the new Authority in its formative stages through to its formal establishment and commencement of its regulatory functions next year. 

Speaking about her new role, Caulfield said: “It is a great privilege to be appointed as CEO Designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland. Effective and efficient regulation of this sector is crucial and I relish the challenge of putting that framework in place."

The Authority must be built on a foundation of robust legislation and I welcome the progress to date of the draft Gambling Regulation Bill. I look forward to developing a close working relationship with all the stakeholders in the sector, Gambling Regulators elsewhere and in the EU and with Department of Justice Officials," she concluded.

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