A senior civil servant has been appointed to the new role of Ireland’s first gambling regulator.

Anne Marie Caulfield was chosen following an open competition for a chief executive officer designate of the Gambling Regulatory Authority of Ireland. From 2008 to 2016, she was the director of the Residential Tenancies Board and has been assigned a number of briefs during her time at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

Set to be established next year, the Government’s long-awaited legislation to reform the gambling industry will see the regulator given powers of enforcement and a mandate to strengthen safeguards for problem gamblers.

It is expected that the authority will commence operations as soon as possible after the draft Gambling Regulation Bill is enacted, with the authority to become operational in 2023.

The Minister of State with responsibility for Law Reform James Browne said the appointment of a CEO of the authority “is an important milestone” in achieving greater regulation of the gambling industry in Ireland.

“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, but also to ensuring that modern and effective licensing and regulatory measures are in place for the industry,” said Browne.

Caulfield’s appointment comes as legislation is being prepared for publication in the autumn, which is expected to be approved by the houses of the Oireachtas sometime next year.

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