Northern Ireland’s gambling laws — Taylor Wessing looks at the changes afoot

Northern Ireland’s (NI’s) Executive announced last month that it intends to update the province’s outdated gambling laws. Taylor Wessing’s Graham Hann and Neil Hawley give their views on the rationale for the announcement and speculate how the NI laws will end up in comparison with the rest of the UK.

The current gambling law in Northern Ireland (NI) is complicated, written in an antiquated style (which makes it difficult for businesses to navigate) and much of it is overly-restrictive compared with other markets. The review is much needed. 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. The fact that bets placed with bookmakers remain unenforceable, treated as “gentlemen’s agreements”, also emphasises the need to modernise the current law…

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