Charities are set to be exempted from a controversial betting advert ban proposed by the Government’s new gambling legislation.

Minister of State at the Department of Justice James Browne proposed to carve some charities out from a blanket ban on broadcast betting advertising between 5:30am and 9:00pm included in the Gambling Regulation Bill.

His amendment will allow advertising for gambling “for a charitable or philanthropic purpose” where the maximum win does not exceed €10,000. Mr Browne tabled this change following concerns raised by politicians about the ban’s likely impact on charities. Specialist channels, including the paid-for Racing TV, have warned that the wider ban could threaten day-to-day coverage of Irish horse racing.

Concern, one of the country’s biggest charities, warned the government that advertising restrictions in forthcoming laws would damage its attempts to help people living in “extreme poverty” around the world.

The aid organisation, which reported income of €250 million in 2022, was among a slew of charities and politicians who raised concerns over an aspect of the gambling regulation bill that would have curbed their ability to advertise.

The minister gave an undertaking during the Dail debate earlier this month to bring forward amendments when the Bill goes to the Seanad to allow charities and sporting organisations to be exempted from the blanket advertising restrictions that were contained in the Bill.

The Government appointed Anne Marie Caulfield as chief executive designate of the authority in August 2022. Her office will be responsible for enforcing a new regime that includes bolstered consumer rights and a requirement for betting businesses to contribute to a fund to aid problem gamblers if politicians pass the Bill.

The Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland (GRAI) will be an independent regulator of the gambling industry in Ireland.

The Authority will protect the public by ensuring a gambling sector that operates transparently and in accordance with the laws of Ireland. It will also create awareness of problem gambling and establish safeguards to address it.

The legislation giving statutory powers to the Authority, The Gambling Regulation Bill 2022 is currently being progressed. Under the draft legislation, the Authority will have powers to regulate gambling both in-person, for example betting shops or casinos, and online or remote betting.

When established, the GRAI will:

  • ensure that gambling within the State is regulated
  • establish safeguards to address problem gambling
  • regulate advertising in relation to gambling to support those safeguards
  • work to prevent gambling from being a source or support to crime.

Charities Institute Ireland stated, “While we have always supported this legislation, which rightly seeks to regulate commercial gambling companies and reduce problem gambling, the unintended consequences of sweeping not-for-profit fundraising campaigns into the advertising ban hours would decimate the income of many organisations and, in some cases, their very viability.”

NB – This is a guide for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have an issue requiring legal advice, please contact any of the team at Nolan Farrell & Goff LLP, whose numbers can be found on our website, or email