The Northern Irish Department for Communities (DfC) is due to update the ‘outdated’ gambling laws by launching a new public consultation from December 16, 2019 to February 21, 2020
The consultation will explore how participants in the community and industry interpret the current legislative structure, while the DfC will aim to identify changes that should be introduced into any proposed gambling legislation.
Tracy Meharg, DfC Permanent Secretary, said at the start of the consultation: “I know that the gambling industry is an important employer in Northern Ireland and that gambling is an activity which is enjoyed responsibly by a large number of people.
“However it is very important to recognise that for some people, gambling has the potential to cause considerable harm. Any future changes to the law must balance the interests of the gambling industry with the need for regulation to protect vulnerable people.”
Meharg continued: “There is no doubt that the current legislation is outdated and has not kept pace with industry and technological changes.
“This consultation will allow everyone with an interest in gambling to share their views on the current legislation and will put the Department in a position to offer the best advice to an incoming Minister on the future regulatory framework. I would encourage all those with an interest in Northern Ireland gambling law to take the opportunity to contribute to this consultation.”
As it stands, under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985, Northern Ireland is actually regulated and not the Gambling Act 2005. The public consultation was expected to help gain insight into the measures needed to bring the law into line with that of the rest of the United Kingdom.