Northern Ireland readies for gambling law reforms

by Mia Chapman Last Updated
Online gambling spend spike in September

Gaming laws are set to be reformed in Northern Ireland this week.

Gambling Insider reports that Communities Minister Deidre Hargey intends to bring reforms to the gambling laws.

Once the reforms are introduced, it will be the first time in 35 years that Northern Ireland has made significant changes to its gambling laws.

One of the key changes includes allowing bookmakers to open on Sundays and Good Friday and making gambling contracts enforceable by law.

The legislation will also create new offences for allowing children to play gaming machines and impose a statutory levy on gambling operations.

The removal of some restrictions on promotional prize competitions are also set to be introduced.

Minister Hargey has proposed a two-phased approach to ensure the changes are brought forward efficiently and don’t disrupt the Assembly’s current mandate.

The first phase will look to bring in 17 key areas, mainly around land-based gambling; these include protecting children and younger people, and relaxing hours of operation.

Meanwhile, the second phase will require a longer timescale and include a completely new regulatory framework that will regulate online gambling and gaming machines.

The Minister feels gambling regulation in Northern Ireland has not evolved alongside the technical advancements the industry has made.

“Gambling legislation has remained largely unchanged since it was enacted 35 years ago. As a result, gambling regulation here has not kept pace with industry and technological changes. In my view, change is long overdue.

“It’s clear from our consultation that people are content for some of the existing legal constraints on gambling to be relaxed.

“But they also believe that government, the gambling industry and others need to do much more to prevent, control and combat problem gambling.”

Aussie technology firm expands in deal with UK gaming developer

An Australian gaming technologies firm has inked a deal that will see its live streams and horse racing data used by a British iGaming platform developer.

BetMakers Technology has signed a deal with Pronet Gaming that will see the Sydney-listed innovator to annually furnish its latest partner, Pronet Gamin, with information on approximately 250,000 races taking place in more than 20 countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and the United States.

The source of the news detailed that this new alliance will also involve the provision of data on harness racing and greyhound events, in addition to live streams from as many as 2500 races every week.

BetMakers, headquartered in Newcastle, New South Wales, reportedly disclosed that its real-time horse racing coverage can be used with a range of traditional fixed odds and parimutuel sports betting markets, alongside more exotic tote derivatives.

The firm purportedly explained that its advances will enable Pronet Gaming to increase the diversity of its offering as it endeavours to grow its global presence, including within emerging markets in Africa and Asia, which have been expanding rapidly due to the continuing rollout of advanced 5G mobile technologies.

BetMakers’ chief operating officer Jake Henson said that Pronet is now permitted to utilise his firm’s SameRaceMultis innovation so as to offer clients a “plethora of single-event accumulator bets” as well as “dynamic race card content and expanded racing form”.

“We are pleased to have advanced our integration with Pronet Gaming to the point where we can now launch a world-class book across its global network of platform clients,” Mr Henson said.

Pronet Gaming sportsbook and trading director Thomas Molloy said his company recently established a presence in Cameroon via an alliance with local betting firm Winnerbet.

He also declared that this partnership with BetMakers has seen clients migrate onto his company’s platform while integrating its complete range of online and retail solutions.

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