Hargey: Northern Ireland’s gambling bill forms part of a “two-phased approach”

Northern Ireland gambling legislation Stormont
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Four decades on and Northern Ireland finally sets the wheels in motion for new gambling legislation. But it might take some time; the bill presented at Stormont this week is the start of a two-phase programme.


Northern Ireland’s communities minister Deirdre Hargey has introduced a new bill which aims to reform the region’s gambling laws.

The minister said the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill represents the first phase of a wider reform. “Overhauling our gambling legislation is something that I believe is very important and I was determined to deliver change during my time as Communities Minister.

This bill is proposing the first substantial changes to gambling law here in nearly 40 years and I am pleased I have been able to get it to this stage. It is the first stage of reform,” Hargey stated. The bill will pass to the consideration stage where the Assembly will have an opportunity to vote on amendments to the legislation which was introduced on 27 September last year.

This bill will make changes to around 14 key areas of premises-based gambling, including improving protection for children and young people and the creation of enabling powers to allow for the introduction of industry codes of practice, together with an industry levy.

“In my view, the current bill should be regarded as a start, not as an end. When I originally announced my plans to reform our gambling laws last May, I proposed a two-phased approach. This bill represents the first of those two phases,” Hargey added.

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