Irish Official Looks to End Gambling Clubs Growth - Wednesday 3rd of May 2006

DUBLIN, Ireland As reported by the (Irish) Sunday Business Post: "Minister for Justice Michael McDowell has vowed to bring the country's gambling clubs to their knees. For decades, Irish gambling clubs have operated in a legislative grey area because, unlike every other country in the EU, Ireland has no law specifically governing casinos.

"Gambling is illegal in the state unless it is a game of chance, or partly a game of chance, under the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act.

"However, so-called casinos have traditionally sidestepped the rules by setting themselves up as 'private members' clubs', which are not subject to the same rules as normal commercial entities.

"To gamble in a gambling club, all a customer needs to do is sign up as a member at the door. They can then gamble freely, as often as they want, so long as they show their membership credentials each time they enter the club. Membership is generally free.

"…However, McDowell is intent on reining in the growth of gambling clubs.

"…McDowell said he would soon ask for government approval to include the clampdown on casinos in the Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2006.

"The new bill is to update the 1956 act which was introduced to govern the running of slot machines, amusement arcades and raffles…"

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