Northern Ireland's DfC Preparing Gambling Industry Codes Of Practice Proposal

May 13, 2024
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Northern Ireland's government minister overseeing gambling policy will be provided with industry codes of practice for consideration “in due course”, according to the Department for Communities (DfC).
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Northern Ireland's government minister overseeing gambling policy will be provided with industry codes of practice for consideration “in due course”, according to the Department for Communities (DfC).

It follows recent news that Gordon Lyons, the minister for communities since February 2024, reportedly said his current mandate would be used to ensure gambling legal changes would be ready to be introduced as soon as possible at the start of the next mandate.

The DfC has also confirmed that it recently commissioned a new gambling prevalence survey as it works on the next stage of reforming the country’s gambling laws.

A spokesperson from the DfC told Vixio GamblingCompliance that the survey results of randomly selected individuals aged 16 and over in Northern Ireland are due in Autumn 2024.

“This is the first such survey to be undertaken in almost eight years and is intended to assess levels of participation in gambling, attitudes to gambling and prevalence of problem gambling across the Northern Ireland population,” the DfC said.

The commissioning of the survey follows the passage of the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill in 2022, which was the first of two stages to reforming the country’s gambling laws, with a second piece of legislation expected to address online gambling more directly.

Lyons recently met with members of the legislative assembly from the Stormont All Party Group for Reducing Harm Related to Gambling (APG) on April 30, where he predicted that “this would be the biggest piece of legislation ever passed” by the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The APG will provide the minister with its own set of recommendations on June 24, when it releases the final report of its "Inquiry into Public Health Approaches to Tackling Gambling-Related Harms in Northern Ireland".

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