Northern Ireland is looking to relax some of its gambling regulations

June 7, 2021

Northern Ireland’s Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey, has hinted that the country could be seeing some reforms to its gambling laws soon.

In the next few weeks, the North Ireland Assembly can expect a new bill intended to amend the existing laws to be presented. Should the legislature pass, it will be the first time in 35 years that Northern Ireland is making significant changes in its gambling laws. In other words, the change seems to be long overdue.

Some of the proposals included in the new bill are a provision to open betting outlets on Sundays and making gambling contracts enforceable by law.

The bill will also protect minors from gambling by making it an offence for them, apart from imposing a statutory levy on gambling operators.

Minister Hargey said:

“Gambling legislation has remained largely unchanged since it was enacted 35 years ago. As a result, gambling regulation here has not kept pace with industry and technological changes.”

She added:

“It is clear from our consultation that people are content for some of the existing legal constraints on gambling to be relaxed. But they also believe that government, the gambling industry and others need to do much more to prevent, control and combat problem gambling.”

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