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Northern Ireland is reportedly getting set to update its local gaming laws, bringing changes to laws that are consistently ridiculed for being out of date by gambling proponents.
Some of the changes to the country's gaming laws will include making it a criminal offense to allow anyone under the age of 18 to gamble on a machine within Northern Ireland's borders. Another update would make any bet placed in a bookmaker's office into a legally binding contract.
Nelson McCausland, Northern Ireland's Social Development Minister spoke about the need to change the laws, saying: “My priority is to minimize the harmful effects of gambling. The new law will be underpinned by objectives aimed at keeping crime out of gambling, ensuring fairness within the gambling industry and protecting the young and vulnerable."
Even with the changes, some of the draconian laws put in place in the past will likely remain. These include a restriction that keeps gaming sites closed on Sundays and maintaining a ban on casinos.
Commenting on the issue a spokesman for NITG said: “We’ve been working closely with all stakeholders for some years in preparation for this reform of gambling legislation which in Northern Ireland has been some way behind both GB and the Republic of Ireland."
“We look forward to seeing the bill when it emerges from the drafting process.”