Silks fails to beat odds


Casino faces liquidation

A HIGH-PROFILE casino is facing liquidation after failing to beat the odds against survival in a recession.

Silks Private Members Club Ltd, operator of the casino club of the same name close to the National Concert Hall on Dublin’s Earlsfort Terrace, will hold a creditors’ meeting next month to appoint a liquidator to the company.

Director and shareholder Leonard Kinsella said yesterday that trade had dwindled to the point where the business was no longer sustainable.

“We just weren’t getting the trade,” he said yesterday, adding that all businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors were suffering.

Mr Kinsella pointed out that now that people have less money to spend, going to casinos has become less popular.

“It’s not exactly a must-have,” he commented.

The company employed about 12 people. Mr Kinsella said its liabilities are “minuscule”.

Silks was one of the plushest of a crop of casinos that grew up in Dublin and other centres over the last decade.

It operated on three floors of the Earlsfort Terrace property, and was a venue for launches and other parties attended by celebrities and sports stars such as Ireland and Leinster rugby star Brian O’Driscoll.

Casinos grew in popularity from 2000 on, partly on the back of a gambling boom that stemmed from the take-off of internet poker, and partly because they provided late-night entertainment in a country with restricted pub and nightclub opening hours.

As there is no proper licensing regime for such businesses, they operate as members’ clubs to remain within the law. Last month, money-laundering legislation was expanded to include them.

The Government is due to publish proposals to license and regulate casinos, something for which the industry has been lobbying for the last 10 years.