Casinos to create thousands of jobs - Wednesday 15th of October 2008

UP TO 3,000 jobs could be generated in Ireland if the Government pushes ahead with plans to regulate casinos.

The claim came from the Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland who also believe as much as €50million could be generated for the exchequer.

Casinos are currently illegal in the Republic under the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act but up to 50 private members’ clubs currently offer roulette, blackjack and other games in Dublin.

The Government-appointed committee has recommended that casinos, which currently operate as private clubs in Ireland, be licensed and supervised by an independent regulator.

It also claims up to 10,000 jobs could be created if Ireland established itself as a hub for the online gambling sector.

The Report called for a “modern and effective system of regulation of gaming in accordance with the Principles of Better Regulation, protecting the vulnerable and keeping criminal and subversive elements from infiltrating the industry.”

Given the poor state of the country’s coffers at the moment the Department of Finance may not be able to avoid regulation.

Severe cuts in spending and tax increases are needed to stabilise a state deficit which could be as high as 5.5 per cent in 2008 and money raised from taxing casinos could well help soften the blow going into the future.

There is likely to be severe opposition to regulation however especially in local communities. Many believe that having casinos nearby can lead to increases in crime.

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