Fears about extension of gaming area

HEATED DEBATE ON ISSUE

MARGARET RODDY

Published 07/03/2012 | 10:13

FEARS THAT any extension of the the area where gaming can take place would lead to an increase in gambling were expressed at the monthly meeting of Dundalk Town Council.

After a heated debate, councillors approved a decision to publish a notice saying that they intend to make a decision under Part III of the Gaming and Lotteries Act, 1956.

They heard that the last time such a notice was published was in 1984 in respect to six specific areas of town.

An application has been made to the council in respect of a premises at the Sports Bowl, Racecourse Road, which is not in those areas, which would necessitate councillors adopting Part III of the Gaming Act in respect of that area.

Councillors were dismayed to hear that there is no provision for public consultations under the legislation.

Cllr Eamonn O'boyle said he had a problem with the application. 'Gambling can be a major scourge for families,' he stated, adding that he felt there were quite a number of such outlets already.

Planner Ms Sinead Mullen said under the planning permission there was no restriction on the type of machines which can be installed in the Sports Bowl.

Town Clerk Mr Frank Pentony said it was up to the members to make a decision which would apply to that area only and confirmed that there was no provision for submissions within the Act. Cllr Martin Bellew argued that people still had a right to come in to the council or make submissions or representations to members over the matter.

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