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Saturday 18 November 2017

Lowry criticises Government's "short-sighted" casino bill

Michael Brennan, Deputy Political Editor

Independent TD Michael Lowry has criticised the Government's new casino bill as "overwhelmingly short-sighted and negative".

The bill will allow for 40 small casinos around the country - with no more than 15 gambling tables each. That means there is no chance of a licence for the super-casino near Two Mile Borris in Tipperary -which had been backed by Mr Lowry.

Mr Lowry said the level of activity that can be conducted in a casino under thebill is ridiculously low.

"The cap on gaming machines and tables is so prohibitive as to make these proposed new casino licenses commercially non-viable," he said.

According to Mr Lowry, the Two Mile Borris supercasino project promoter Richard Quirke will be taking part in the consultation process on the bill to show that the table and machine limits are "impractical, unworkable and not financially sustainable in any venue".

The Gambling Control bill will also impose a ban on slot machines - also known as fixed odds betting terminals - due to concerns about their harmful effect. And there will be a new gambling regulator, as well as criminal checks on those who are applying to run casinos.

Mr Shatter said that it would bring legal certainty to the gambling sector here, which is currently largely unregulated.

"I believe that this Bill will give Ireland a well regulated gambling system that will be recognised as such internationally," he said.

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