Friday 23 June 2017

Wheels of fortune still turning in capital's gaming clubs

Casinos are illegal in Ireland, but Craig Hughes finds that gamblers are not waiting for the Tipp Venue to try their luck

I'M SITTING at a poker table, a waitress brings me a drink and a beautiful Asian dealer explains the house rules to me. I'm in the luxurious Sporting Emporium, just off Dublin's Grafton Street, with €150 in my pocket. I'm witnessing why people of all ages and all walks of life simply can't resist the temptation to bet big and risk losing hard.

I'm joined at the table by eight other punters -- there's a pretty girl in her early 20s opposite me, the last person I expected to see at a card table; but while the other punters are appreciating her looks, she's taking their money.

To my right there's a pompous middle-aged man from Dublin; he likes to throw his money around, and has €500 in front of him. There are two carbon copies of him at the other side of the table, equipped with iPhones and Tommy Hilfiger jumpers. But their bravado image isn't working tonight and they end up losing their chips to various players around the table, including myself.

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