Newry police seize cash and betting slips in illegal betting probe

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Monday, November 19th, 2012
Community, News
Police in Newry have revealed they have seized a large quantity of cash from a bookmakers in Newry. The Francis Street bookies is believed to have been targeted as part of an investigation into illegal betting. Officers conducted a search of the premises last night, Sunday, 18th November and found a number of customers and staff. Betting slips were seized in addition to the cash. Police say enquiries are ongoing. In Northern Ireland it is illegal for a bookmakers to open on a Sunday. The calls for guidelines surrounding Sunday opening times for bookies have intensified over the past number of years, with the ease of access to online betting websites through the internet making the laws seem outdated. Just last year former Social Development Minister Alex Attwood said one of the key reforms being considered after a consultation was to open bookies on a Sunday. Speaking at the time, he said, ”My priority will be the public interest; striking a balance between developing gambling as a leisure pursuit and minimizing its harmful effects. “The current regulatory system is fragmented. Close supervision of the industry is needed to keep crime out of gambling, protect the vulnerable and promote fairness. There are decisions to be made in this area of complex public policy and I wish to ensure that everyone in the community has the chance to comment.”
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