Gambling rules in Northern Ireland could be brought into line with tighter standards in the rest of the UK following an intervention by the Church of England.
An amendment tabled in the House of Lords by the Bishop of St Albans, Alan Smith, opening the way for possible alignment in gambling regulation between Northern Ireland and mainland Britain has been accepted by the Government.
The amendment adds gambling legislation to a number of areas on which the Government would be required to produce a report by September as part of moves to restore the devolved executive in Northern Ireland.
The Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman, who spoke to the amendment in the House of Lords, told peers that the current inconsistency meant that reforms introduced in mainland Britain – such as the cap on the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) – do not apply in Northern Ireland.
“The anomalies and confusions abound,” she said.