Northern Ireland Gambling Act Set for an Upgrade
The antiquated gambling laws which apply to Northern Ireland are set to change after a bill was put before the Northern Ireland Assembly on September 15th.
The chairman of the NIACTA (Northern Ireland Amusement Caterers Trade Association) and leading Northern Ireland Amusement operator, Gerald Steinberg, said, “We broadly welcome the introduction of long-overdue legislation. The 1985 order currently in force was based on the 1968 British Gaming Act and is hopelessly out of date. We have been working on this with the much-appreciated cooperation of the Department of Communities officials. We look forward to the implementation of the new legislation and the introduction of phase two in due course.”
The new bill which was presented to the Assembly includes a ban on any person who is under the age of 18 years old, which will prevent them from playing any form of casino related amusement machines, and it will also be a legal offense for any person or operator to allow them to play on these machines.
It should also be noted that it will also be an offense to encourage any person under the age of 18 to play these machines.
A code of practice is also included, which means that there is a statutory levy on operators which will be placed in a fund to focus on responsible gambling.
This first phase of the change in Northern Ireland’s gambling laws will now allow bookies to open on Sundays and Good Friday, which was previously not allowed.
The second phase of the proposed changes to Northern Ireland’s gambling laws is with a focus on online gambling.