Gambling laws in the North of Ireland will be reviewed soon. For the first time in decades, gambling laws will be changed to create an industry that reflects today's environment. Legislators in the country have long been calling for changes, and the legislation is expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.
What will come?
The new bill will bring some changes to the gambling industry in Northern Ireland. Sports betting operators will be able to place bets on Sundays and Good Friday based on the language shown on the bill. New crimes will be introduced to keep children from playing slot machines.
A mandatory code of conduct will be established to better regulate the operators they have gambling licenses in the region . The law will also create the power to impose a statutory fee on gambling operators.
The definition of cheating will be extended to include fraud attempted deadlines. Gambling contracts will also be enforceable by law. Restrictions will also be removed by legislation on competitions with promotional prizes.
Community Minister Deidre Hargey said reform was long overdue and gambling regulations were not being respected with the industry and technological changes. Hargey said:
"It is clear from our consultation that people are satisfied with the relaxation of some of the existing legal restrictions on gambling."
A consultation took place recently on Gambling Laws in 2019 by the Department of Communities. The study found that there is strong support for the creation of an independent gambling regulator in Northern Ireland.
The study also found that officials need to do more to prevent, control and combat problem gambling.
In the first phase of changes, the region is planning see 17 affected areas . According to Hargey, phase two will cover a longer timeframe as it will include a new regulatory framework. There will be a legal framework for online gambling as well as slot machines.
Local volunteer groups and clubs will also be able to offer online ticket sales to raise much-needed funds. This is another regulatory update that coincides with the the global gambling market.
Late 2020, the Games and Lotteries (Amendment) Act 2019 was implemented in the region, but the measures are only a temporary solution. The new changes will bring about significant changes to the law and will ensure a more permanent reconstruction of the Irish gambling market. The goal is to provide a modern and sensible approach to licensing and regulation.