'Antiquated' gambling rules updated to allow Northern Ireland charities to sell lottery tickets online

The membership body Nicva says charities have been frustrated with the rules, which have 'severely inhibited fundraising efforts'

A change in the law in Northern Ireland means charities will be able to promote and sell lottery tickets online for the first time. 

The Department for Communities in Northern Ireland has made an amendment to The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Northern Ireland) Order 1985 to allow for the sale of lottery tickets through the internet. 

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland said the change had been made ahead of new gambling legislation, which is being developed. The existing law has remained largely unchanged since it was enacted 35 years ago. 

As a result of the change, charities and other societies in Northern Ireland will be allowed to promote and sell lottery tickets online.

It is hoped that this will give charities more flexibility and the ability to reach more people as they raise money. 

The Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action welcomed the news. 

Denise Copeland, governance and charity advice manager at the membership body, said: “Charities and societies have been frustrated with the antiquated gambling rules in Northern Ireland, which have severely inhibited their fundraising efforts.  

“We communicated these concerns to the minister who thankfully was able to take positive action.  

“We look forward to further legislation which should see the removal of the £1 cap on the sale of a lottery ticket.”

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