Change for Antiquated Gambling Laws In Northern Ireland

Published Friday, January 11, 2013 -

In many parts of the world there are laws that haven’t kept up with the times and are as out dated as the old Alabama law that states it is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church.

The gambling laws of Northern Ireland are similar to the example and are finally getting a look at by legislatures in Northern Ireland. The jurisdiction is set to overhaul its local gambling laws, as well as changes to industry practices and developments of new forms of gambling. According to a report by the BBC the changes of the law includes making it an offence to allow anyone under 18 years old to gamble on any gambling machine in Northern Ireland. Another important change will require bets being placed in a bookmakers office to be made into a legally binding contract.

Ireland does indeed have some really old dumb laws on the books such as the one that says, ‘Any person who shall pretend or exercise to use any type of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment, or pretend knowledge in any occult or craft or science shall for any such offense suffer imprisonment at the time of one whole year and also shall be obliged to obscursion for his/her good behavior.’ Nelson McCausland the Social Development Minister explained the reasoning behind the changes which seem most obvious to many, “My priority is to minimize the harmful effects of gambling,” the minister continued, “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.”

The move to amend the country’s existing laws actually began as early as 2009, and even then, people were saying the laws were “antiquated”. Changes and updating will be enacted in order to address the changing gambling environment and to ensure the country will be able to comply with European Union provisions. The Northern Ireland Turf Guardians, a group that represents bookmakers in Northern Ireland, said, “We look forward to seeing the bill when it emerges from the drafting process.”

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