The government of Northern Ireland has plans to host a public consultation on creating a new gambling policy as well as problem gambling effects. With the consultation, the goal is to form a basis of which advice will be provided to the next minister for communities. This individual will be in charge of forming a new gambling policy once the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly are back in session.
According to reports, the Department of Communities is responsible for gambling policy and legislation. The Department has plans to complete the public consultation which will include speaking with stakeholders, discussing gambling issues that could occur in the future.
The preparatory work is being completed to ensure that the new minister will be able to make a decision as to how to move forward with gambling as soon as possible once the post is filled.
Over the past few years, Northern Ireland has not had any new legislation created involving gambling. Operators in the country have been working with the government and agreed to a maximum stake of £2 to be placed on the fixed odds betting terminals. This limit was put in place in order to help with problem gambling issues.
Right now, the Northern Ireland gambling industry is regulated based on the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements Order 1985. The region is not impacted by the Gambling Act 2005. The goal is to host the public consultation and gain insight on what changes need to be made in order to fight the problem gambling issues that have arisen in the country.
It will be interesting to see what the public consultation results in and how the department makes changes or new implementations to work on creating a better overall gambling industry in the region. Since changes have not been made in some time, the consultation will most likely be ongoing before decisions are made.