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Explanatory Memorandum to Betting and Gaming (Northern Ireland) Order 2004

Article 4:  Betting on tracks

This Article relaxes some restrictions on betting on horse and dog tracks.  It:

  • allows the use of permanent structures for bookmaking purposes on licensed tracks - to be used only when the public is admitted to the track for the purpose of attending horse or dog racing and not to be used for betting on races on that track (paragraph (1)). The occupier of a licensed track may also enter into commercial agreements for the lease of betting outlets on that track (paragraph (3));

    • enables bookmakers on tracks to take bets on any event, sporting or otherwise (paragraph (2));

    • provides for on-course Sunday betting together with employment protection rights for track betting workers (paragraphs (4), (6) and (7)). It also provides protection from prosecution under the Sunday Observance Act (Ireland) 1695 for people involved in betting transactions on non-sporting events at a track on Sunday (paragraph (6)). People involved in betting transactions on sporting events are already protected by the existing general provisions in relation to sport in Article 6(1) of the Deregulation and Contracting Out (Northern Ireland) Order 1996;

    • allows the occupier of a licensed track, his servants or agents or anyone holding a lease etc granted by the occupier to engage in bookmaking on that track but with a safeguard that they would not be allowed to offer odds bets on the outcome of races on that track (paragraph (5)).

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