Northern Ireland’s Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey, has announced that the country will bring reforms to the country’s gambling laws soon.
Once the reforms are introduced to the Assembly, it will be the first time in 35 years that Northern Ireland has made major changes to its gambling laws.
One of these significant changes includes allowing bookmakers to open on Sundays and Good Fridays, and making gambling contracts enforceable by law.
In addition, the legislation will create new offenses for allowing children to play gaming machines. Moreover, it will impose a statutory levy on gambling operators and eliminate restrictions on promotional prize competitions.
The Minister believes that gambling regulation in Northern Ireland has not kept pace with technological advancements in the industry.
“Gambling legislation largely remained unchanged since 35 years,” Hargey said. As a result, gambling regulation in the United States has lagged behind industry and technological advancements.
“It is clear from our consultation that people are willing to relax some of the current legal restrictions on gambling.
“However, they believe that the government, the gambling industry, and others should do a lot more to combat problem gambling.”