Northern Ireland’s Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey contends that a new gambling legislation is much needed in order to keep up with industry and technological changes
Northern Ireland‘s Communities Minister has proposed a two-phased approach in bid to kick start changes in the current Northern Ireland Assembly mandate towards gambling.
The legislation will be introduced in the assembly in the next few weeks. Homing down on the technicalities, the legislation will form new offences to verticals such as children play machines, make gambling contracts enforceable in law, and set up a code of practice for licence-holders – to name a few.
Northern Ireland’s Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey shared during a public consultation:
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. In my view, change is long overdue.
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.
The pragmatic approach I am taking will mean that we deliver some much needed change in the short term, while simultaneously ensuring that complex areas of regulation and online gambling are given the time and consideration they need.
The first phase will capture legislation upgrades to 17 key areas, namely premises based gambling, underaged gambling, and some easing surrounding hours of operation.
The second phase of the revisited gambling legislation will be more extensive, including a new framework to regulate online gambling and gaming machines.
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