Sinn Féin MLA Sinéad Ennis has called for the modernisation of current gambling laws to protect young people and the most vulnerable in society from problem gambling.
The South Down MLA was commenting after submitting the party’s response to the Department for Communities consultation on gambling law.
Sinéad Ennis said:
“The current gambling laws in the north are out of date.
“I have submitted our party proposals to modernise the law to bring it in to line with changes in technology and new forms of gambling, such as online, fixed term betting odds and casinos.
“The reality is, online betting has no closing time. Smartphones are a casino open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We need legislation which is properly equipped to regulate these websites and help protect the most vulnerable.
“Our recommendations include; the establishment of an Independent Gambling Regulator and an immediate age verification process for online gambling.
“Problem gambling does not only affect the gambler; it has wider implications for society and lasting impacts on relationships with family and friends.
“Sinn Féin is committed to tackling problem gambling north and south. The most effective way to do that is through modernised and fit for purpose legislation.”