The Institute of Sales Promotion has hit out at the failure to extend the Gambling Act 2005 to Northern Ireland as a “considerable nuisance.”
ISP legal affairs director Philip Circus says: “The problem is that when the legislation comes into force on September 1, you could run a promotion in Great Britain that would not be legal in Northern Ireland.”
Potentially, if a company wanted to run a promotion across the whole of the British Isles, it would be subject to three different legal regimes, i.e. one for Great Britain, one for Northern Ireland and another for the Irish Republic.
The ISP says that it expected this legislation to be extended to Northern Ireland and says it is “surprised” that it hasn’t been.
As the representative body of the promotional marketing industry, the ISP is now considering what action to take to see that the interests of promoters and agencies are protected.
Circus adds: “I’m very annoyed. I don’t want to prejudge things, but I’ll be having a word with our parliamentary advisor John Greenway MP, and we’ll see what avenues are open to us. The trouble with lobbying is that it takes time and, in the meantime, we will have to advise our members.”
Industry insiders say it is difficult to understand why this anomaly in the 2005 Act exists.
Sources add it may be to do with the particular politics of Northern Ireland and also point out that the Act was forced through rather hastily, prior to the last election, and that it is “not a triumph of drafting”.