Northern Ireland to review ‘outdated’ legislation with public consultation

The Northern Irish Department for Communities (DfC) is set to review the ‘outdated’ gambling legislation by launching a new public consultation which will run from 16 December 2019 to 21 February 2020.

The consultation will consider how the public and industry stakeholders view the current legislative framework, while the DfC will seek to identify changes which should be included in any new gambling legislation.

Launching the consultation, Tracy Meharg, DfC Permanent Secretary said: “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Meharg continued: “There is no doubt that the current legislation is outdated and has not kept pace with industry and technological changes.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, Northern Ireland is currently regulated under the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 and not the Gambling Act 2005. It is hoped that the public consultation will help gain an insight into the policies needed to bring the legislation in line with that of the rest of the UK.