Bookmakers and bingo halls in Northern Ireland have been given permission to open on Sundays.

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Despite being legally authorized to do so for the first time, bookmakers have stated they are unlikely to begin business this Sunday.

On Tuesday, legislation was given royal assent that reformed Northern Ireland’s gaming rules for the first time since 1985. The reform would affect an estimated 295 betting shops and bingo halls operating in Northern Ireland.

From next year, the opening will be permitted on Good Friday, but it will remain closed on Christmas days, including those that fall on a Sunday.

According to the Irish News, a Department for Communities update caught affected firms off guard because they hadn’t anticipated the progress to be made.

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Nassima Azmzm

Nassima Azmzm

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