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A bill designed to bring stricter regulation of gambling in Northern Ireland has received Royal Assent, meaning it has officially become law.

The Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements Bill modifies several aspects of gambling laws in NI, which were last updated in the 1980s.

One of the changes brought about through the bill is that betting shops can now open on Sundays and on Good Friday. However, betting shops will still have to close on Christmas Day.

It is also now an offence to allow anyone under the age of 18 to use a gaming machine. Anyone found guilty of this offence could face 6 months in prison.

A mandatory levy on licensees will also be introduced, along with a code of practice for those holding licences. A company that fails to adequately protect customers could lose its betting license.

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