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The clause sets out the territorial extent and commencement provisions of the Bill. Clauses 1 to 3, which include the new licensing requirements, will apply only to England and Wales and to Scotland, as the licensing regime established by the 2005 Act extends only there. Northern Ireland has its own licensing regime, which reflects a different devolution settlement.
Clause 2(1), which repeals section 331 of the 2005 Act, also extends to Northern Ireland, and clause 4, which puts in place the new offence of advertising unlicensed remote gambling, applies only to Northern Ireland. Section 331 is one of the few provisions of the 2005 Act that extends to Northern Ireland. Its repeal would therefore create a gap in protection for consumers there, so the new offence remedies that, bringing Northern Ireland back into line with Great Britain, so that remote operators will be able to advertise remote gambling only if they have a licence from the Gambling Commission.
Subsections (4) to (7) of clause 1 come into force on the day on which the Bill is given Royal Assent. They confer power to make an order establishing an advance application process, whereby an operator may apply for a remote operating licence before the commencement of the remainder of the Bill. This ensures that arrangements can be put in place to minimise disruption to the business of those operators currently entitled to operate in Britain.
The Bill’s remaining provisions will come into force on such day as is appointed by order. Different days may be appointed for different purposes, and the commencement order may also include
“consequential, transitory, transitional or saving provision”,
as is generally the case.