‘Super-sized’ Two-Mile Borris casino would not get go ahead under proposed Bill – Shatter

General scheme of gambling Bill restricts to 15 the number of tables a casino can operate

The Gaming & Leisure Association of Ireland said the proposals took gambling “out of the dark ages into the online age” and was a positive step forward

The Gaming & Leisure Association of Ireland said the proposals took gambling “out of the dark ages into the online age” and was a positive step forward

Tue, Jul 16, 2013, 01:00


New legislation will not allow “super-sized” casinos such as that proposed in Two-Mile Borris in Tipperary, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said following the publication of the general scheme of the Gambling Control Bill 2013.

“The Cabinet have made a very specific decision that we don’t want super-sized casinos in this State,” he said.

Details of the general scheme of the Bill which have been approved by the Government would see the maximum number of tables which can be operated in a casino restricted to 15 and a limit of 25 gaming machines, effectively blocking the development of large-scale casinos .

It would also restrict to 40 the number of casinos which could operate nationally.

The Bill would extend the licensing regime to include online gambling.

“We have what I would describe as piecemeal legislation that’s now substantially out of date in the gambling area,” Mr Shatter said yesterday.


Regulatory framework
“The intention is to enact legislation that’s comprehensive, deals with all aspects of gambling [and] puts in place appropriate regulatory frameworks to deal with both land-based gambling and online gambling,” he added.

In a statement yesterday evening, Independent TD Michael Lowry – in whose constituency the Two-Mile Borris casino is proposed and who supports its development – said that the proposals as contained in the general scheme of the Bill were “impractical, unworkable and not financially sustainable in any venue”.

He described the proposals as “overwhelmingly short-sighted and negative” and a “missed opportunity to modernise our gaming law” in line with European norms.


‘Commercially non-viable’
“The level of activity that can be conducted in a casino under this Bill is ridiculously low. The cap on gaming machines and tables is so prohibitive as to make these proposed new casino licences commercially non-viable.

“Due to the curtailment measures contained in the Bill, these new proposed licences will have no appeal to the industry.”

The Gaming & Leisure Association of Ireland said the proposals took gambling “out of the dark ages into the online age” and was a positive step forward.

A spokesman for Paddy Power said the scheme provided for a “well-regulated gambling sector with consumer protection at its core”.

A Boylesports spokeswoman said that it would “provide legal certainty” for the industry.


GAMBLING CONTROL BILL 2013
The general scheme of the Gambling Control Bill 2013 published yesterday includes provision for:

– A new self-financing executive agency which would act as both the licensing authority and regulator for the sector
– A social gambling fund to help with treatment services for problem gamblers, which would be funded through a levy on operators
– The extension of the licensing regime to include online gambling
– Criteria to ensure a regional spread of casinos
– A relaxation of the rule that bingo must always be for charitable or philanthropic purposes
– A new complaints and compensation procedure funded by the industry.