Online Gambling in Ireland

Is online gambling legal in northern ireland. Northern Ireland’s gambling laws – changes afoot


The Betting Act Amendment now dictates all Irish gambling regulation including between Irish residents and foreign operators. In updating the law, it will be necessary to achieve a balance between easing current restrictions on the industry, thereby widening the scope of the market in Northern Ireland, but also minimise the potential negative consequences of gambling and ensure fairness in the industry.

Yes, thanks to the passing of the Betting Amendment Act inonline gambling in Ireland is legally legitimate as is online gambling legal in northern ireland remote operators - regardless of where and whether they are online or not - doing business in Ireland are subject to Irish licensing and taxation.

However the present blanket prohibition on casinos in Northern Ireland looks set to stay eliciting criticism that Belfast is the only major UK city without the choice as to whether such development may be licensed.

This article has been produced for general information purposes and further advice should be sought from a professional advisor. Those online gambling operators who target the Great British who almost certainly target the UK as a whole will be regulated by the UK Gambling Commission — therefore there is little need for the NI Executive to reform its online gambling laws or lack of them! Lotteries are the preserve of good causes and may be organised subject to strict controls.

September 27, Advances in technology and changing social trends have seen certain forms of gambling increase in popularity as they have become more accessible to the general public. Online Poker and Bingo Growing in Ireland Poker is a very popular game in Ireland — indeed, the 'Paddy Power Irish Open' is one of the biggest poker tournaments of its kind in the world.

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 replacement legislation may well seek to redefine the boundary between what constitutes legal activity generating revenue and what amounts to an illegal lottery by removing the requirement that the degree of skill exercised be substantial.

This is a clear indication that elements of the Great Britain regime will be seen in future legislation for NI.

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This legislation has proved increasingly inflexible and overly restrictive in the face of developments in the gambling market. The introduction of modern forms of gambling such as online and through interactive television has undoubtedly made gambling more accessible than was the case when NI's gambling law was passed in The law in Great Britain is written in such a way as to keep a clear boundary between these activities and what otherwise may constitute an illegal lottery.

Another motivation is the NI Executive's priority to minimise the harmful effects of gambling. The review is much needed. It seems unlikely that there will be separate legislation in NI to regulate operators based overseas as this issue is clearly being addressed by the UK Government.

Although the draft legislation has not yet been published, it is likely to enable people in NI to participate in prize competitions and free draws on the same basis as those in the rest of the UK. Change to law on gambling in Northern Ireland — What are the odds?

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The law was conceived in response to the outdated Betting Act which also failed to address and account for the explosion of online gambling like the Gaming and Lotteries Act of This massive surge in spending has forced major gambling brands all over the world to turn their attention specially to the Irish gambling market, including Gambling.

This proposed legislation requires all operators irrespective of where they are based in the world to obtain a licence from the UK's Gambling Commission to deal with British consumers. At present, in the betting sector in Northern Ireland there are: Higgins, on 15 March, signed is online gambling legal in northern ireland law the Betting Amendment Act.

A review of the law occurred infollowing criticism that they were growing increasingly dated and that they were leaving 'all or nothing' regulation up to local authorities either accepting all forms, or banning it completely.

Then inIrish President, Michael D. The literature review discussed in the Consultation Document published by the NI Executive in concluded that the current system in Great Britain is the simplest, most efficient and easy to understand. The regulation of online gambling first registered on Irish statute books under the Horses and Greyhound Racing Act ofwhich allowed Irish players to place bets with online bookmakers based outside the country.

Prize competitions where the outcome is determined by the application of skill, judgement or knowledge and genuine free draws in Great Britain are free from control under the Gambling Act While the industry is perhaps lagging behind some other English-speaking and European countries, there is no questioning that there has been some considerable growth in the past decade.

It is unlikely that there will be separate legislation in NI to regulate the activities of online gambling operators based overseas as this issue is currently being addressed by the UK Government. As a result, there have been calls to modernise the law and align regulation with that in place in the rest of the UK.

But despite its apparent prevalence, the shape of land and online gambling in the Emerald Isle is largely unknown to many, including its residents. The online gambling sector in NI is small and limited in scope, relative to other jurisdictions.

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Understanding the effects of the Betting Amendment Act passed in should help clear some of the confusion up but there is certainly more to online gambling in Ireland than just the laws so keep reading to find out what else is important!

In any event, it could be said that the changes proposed by the UK Government to regulate online gambling operators is sufficiently robust. They can be run for commercial or private gain and can be used as a fun way of offering prizes or promoting a product. A total of responses were received to the consultation including the views of 44 organisations with a general recognition that the law was overly restrictive and in need of modernisation.

Do you think that NI's Executive is mistaken not to consider a reform of online gambling laws at this time? The NI Executive will have noted that recent proposals of the UK Government to strengthen the regulation of online gambling operators based overseas. The NI Executive's statement covers amendments to several areas of gambling but not online gambling — has online gambling been excluded entirely and why is this the case?

How will NI's rules on prize competitions and free draws be amended? Indeed, ina public consultation was undertaken to seek views on possible changes to the current gambling law. The current position In NI there is a general prohibition on any prize competition which involves forecasting the result of an event in which success does not depend on a substantial degree of skill.

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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 slot igrica vockice online rest of the UK.

While some of its details seemed out-of-step with the current world of gambling, a lot of the original legislation remained key, though amendments were made. There is also little incentive for the NI Executive to attempt to regulate online gambling operators based overseas as the levying of duty on gambling is a reserved matter for the UK Government and the NI Executive has no relevant fiscal powers.

How similar do you envision the NI laws will end up in comparison with the rest of the UK? These modern forms of gambling clearly need legal recognition if problem gambling is to be effectively tackled in NI. Prior tothe Gaming and Lotteries Act of was the main document governing Irish gambling.

The NI Is online gambling legal in northern ireland appears therefore unsurprisingly reluctant to agree to the creation of an independent regulatory body similar to the Gambling Commission which would be costly and bureaucratic. This will allow players in Northern Ireland to compete in the same competitions as other UK residents. If you have any questions on this article please contact us.

The online gambling sector is not easy to regulate as it is a fast-moving, innovative, market. For all those Irish punters looking for the best Ireland-specific bonuses and betting tips, head over to the Irish version of Gambling. These measures will also help to protect consumers based in NI as it is likely that online gambling operators active in NI are also active in Great Britain.

However, one of the largest entertainment companies in Europe, The Rank Group, have so far been unable to expand into Northern Ireland because of the tighter legal restrictions here compared to 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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Is Online Gambling in Ireland Legal?