Northern Ireland’s gambling laws – changes afoot
A total of responses were received to the consultation including the views of 44 organisations with a general recognition that the law was overly restrictive and in need of modernisation.
As a result, there have been calls to modernise the law and align regulation with that in place in the rest of the UK. The Betting Act Amendment now dictates all Irish gambling regulation including between Irish residents and foreign operators.
Higgins, on 15 March, signed into law the Betting Amendment Act. This is a clear indication that elements of the Great Britain regime will be seen in future legislation for NI. This proposed legislation requires all operators irrespective of where they are based in the world to obtain a licence from the UK's Gambling Commission to deal with British consumers.
While some of its details seemed out-of-step with the current world of gambling, a lot of the original legislation remained key, though amendments were made. There is also little incentive for the NI Executive to attempt to regulate online gambling operators based overseas as the levying of duty on gambling is a reserved matter for the UK Government and the NI Executive has no relevant fiscal powers.
These modern forms of gambling clearly need legal recognition if problem gambling is to be effectively tackled in NI.
However, one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe, The Rank Group, have so far been unable to expand into Northern Ireland because of the tighter legal restrictions here compared to the rest of the UK.
These measures will also help to protect consumers based in NI as it is likely that online gambling operators active in NI are also active in Great Britain.
While the industry is perhaps lagging behind some other English-speaking and European countries, there is no questioning that there has been some considerable growth in the past decade. This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor.
In updating the law, it will be necessary to achieve a balance between easing current restrictions on the industry, thereby widening the scope of the market in Northern Ireland, but also minimise the potential negative consequences of gambling and ensure fairness in the industry. The law in Great Britain is written in such a way as to keep a clear boundary between these activities and what otherwise may constitute an illegal lottery.
Is Online Gambling in Ireland Legal?
Prior tothe Gaming and Lotteries Act of was the main document governing Irish gambling. The literature review discussed in the Consultation Document published by the NI Executive in concluded that the current system in Great Britain is the simplest, most efficient and easy to understand. Online Poker and Bingo Growing in Ireland Poker is a very popular game in Ireland — indeed, the 'Paddy Power Irish Open' is one of the biggest poker tournaments of its kind in the world.
Another motivation is the NI Executive's priority to minimise the harmful effects of gambling. It is unlikely that there will be separate legislation in NI to regulate the activities of online gambling operators based overseas as this issue is currently being addressed by the UK Government. The rules, for example, on prize competitions do not permit people in NI to participate in prize competitions and free draws on the same basis as those in the rest of the UK.
Indeed, ina public consultation was undertaken to seek views on possible changes to the current gambling law.
A review of the law occurred infollowing criticism that they were growing increasingly dated and that they were leaving 'all or nothing' regulation up to local authorities either accepting all forms, or banning it completely. The replacement legislation may well seek to redefine the boundary between what constitutes legal activity generating revenue and what amounts to an illegal lottery by removing the requirement that the degree of skill exercised be substantial.
For all those Irish punters looking for the best Ireland-specific bonuses and betting tips, head over to the Irish version of Gambling. Although the draft legislation has not yet been published, it is likely to enable people in NI to participate in prize competitions and free draws on the same basis as those in the rest of the UK. The current position In NI there is a general prohibition on any prize competition which involves forecasting the result of an event in which success does not depend on a substantial degree of skill.
Yes, thanks to the passing of the Betting Amendment Act inonline gambling in Ireland is legally legitimate as all remote operators - regardless of where and whether they are online or not - doing business in Ireland are subject to Irish licensing and taxation.
This will allow players in Northern Ireland to compete in the same competitions as other UK residents. The NI Executive's statement covers amendments to several areas of gambling but not online gambling — has online gambling been excluded entirely and why is this the case?
The review is much needed. September 27, Advances in technology and changing social trends have seen certain forms of gambling increase in popularity as they have become more accessible to the general public. Then inIrish President, Michael D.
However the present blanket prohibition on casinos in Northern Ireland looks set to stay eliciting criticism that Belfast is the only major UK city without the choice as to whether such development may be licensed.