Steps underway ‘to make gambling safer’ | Newry Times

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Thursday, November 4th, 2021

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey has said that measures she is introducing through the Assembly will help make gambling safer.


Steps underway 'to make gambling safer' - Newry Times - newry news


The Minister was speaking at the start of Safer Gambling Week, an industry-led initiative to raise awareness with customers on how to gamble more safely.



The Minister explains, “I am bringing a Bill through the Assembly which contains provisions that create new offences which make it illegal for young people under 18 to be in areas where high-stake gaming machines are located; give any future Minister the power to introduce a statutory levy on the gambling industry; provide some clarification of the rules around prize competitions.

“Tackling the issue of problem gambling needs a multi-agency approach which is why I have established a Cross-Departmental Working Group to look at the areas of treatment, education and prevention.”

The Minister is also launching a short, focused consultation on a Mandatory Code of Practice for the gambling industry with key stakeholders this week.



Requirements within the Code will include:

 • a ban on the use of credit cards in gambling transactions;

 • a ban on the practice of reverse withdrawals and the location of ATMs in gambling establishments;

 • further protections for children and young people including age verification standards;

 • tighter controls on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs).

Minister Hargey adds, “I am planning to make compliance with the Code a condition of the licence. 



“I am determined to drive up standards in the industry and make operators take greater responsibility for the harm caused to some customers.”


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