CARE NI Poll Reveals Strong Public Support For Reforming Gambling Laws In Northern Ireland

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Recently, a new poll was conducted in Northern Ireland where the overwhelming majority of the public supported reforming the former gambling laws of the country.

Market research and innovative polling-based company in Belfast, LucidTalk carried out the latest research on behalf of CARE NI. It is a social policy charity that organizes campaigns for change in gambling laws.

The current gambling legislation in Northern Ireland was approved and imposed back in 1985. However, the denigrator argues that now it is old and not following today’s digital age. As a result, CARE NI has organized a campaign to bring fundamental modifications to the former law. They gathered over 1878 responses through the campaign.

What were the responses given by the Gamblers?

The poll for gambling law reform was conducted when the gamblers and bettors returned to the markets in Northern Ireland after three months. The markets reopened on July 3, 2020, following the COVID-19 pandemic.

LucidTalk asked the gamblers about how they want gambling to be conducted in the country. The majority of the public responded that maximum prizes and stakes online must be regulated by the gambling law. However, 8% of the public said there should be no gambling limit.

Majority of Public Demands for Mandatory Levy

The survey also found that there is extensive support for an obligatory levy on all gambling and betting companies. This would ensure secure gambling across the country. Overall, 90% of people supported the idea of obligatory levy for gambling companies, whereas 5% of people were against the idea of imposing a mandatory levy on those companies.

Moreover, it said that money raised by the charge could be funded to treat the people who are addicted to gambling or who are into gambling-related harms.

A research was conducted by the Department for Communities back in 2017. They observed that the country’s harmful gambling popularity rate was 2.3 %. When compared to England, it was just four times higher.

The harmful gambling practice rate in England is 0.5%, Wales is 1.1% and Scotland is 0.7%. In 2019, the Department of Communities collected the public’s opinion on this problem, but the final report isn’t published yet.

CARE NI offers Secretariat to Northern Ireland’s All-Party Group on minimizing gambling-related harm. Recently it advised the NI Executive to consider reforming the gambling laws.

Immediate Measures to Combat Problem Gambling

Mark Baillie is the Public Policy Officer at CARE NI. According to him, the existing gambling regulations in the country are quite old and belong to a different world when there was no existence of online gambling. As there was three to four months lockdown due to the pandemic. Now, after the reopening of gambling firms, people are more excited to return to gambling practices.

However, in Northern Ireland, people are more addicted to gambling and involved in harmful gambling. This implies that there is an immediate need to reform the gambling laws that will assist in reducing the harmful gambling practices across the country.

The poll made by LucidTalk reveals that the majority of the country’s population supports prize and stake limits on online games. Not just that, they also want a mandatory levy on all gambling and betting companies.

A few days back CARE NI advised the Department of Communities to publish the problem gambling survey, which was carried out last year. It also gave the current survey report for problem gambling.

Moreover, they warn that the gambling industry must act on it immediately, and politicians should consider this issue as their top priority. He also advises supporting vulnerable people who are affected by problem gambling.

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