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Local authorities announce crackdown on unlawful casinos in Dublin

Wed, Dec 26, 12:23pm by Staff Writer

Local authorities have decided to expand the clampdown on unlawful casinos in Dublin, at a time when a gambling control bill has hardly seen progress for more than five years.

Gambling machines without the required operating licences appear to have spread in Ireland’s capital city with the illegal terminals violating an existing law under which these terminals are banned. A directive of the Dublin City Council and rules of the Revenue Commissioners have been violated by casinos offering such terminals.

Operators applying for amusement machine licenses as loophole

The Dublin City Council’s directive was officially established in 1988. Under this directive, gambling licenses are not able to be provided in Dublin, forcing local casino operators to file applications for amusement licences which are subjected to a lower level of regulatory control.

Amusement machines don’t offer monetary prizes, the reward from these games is to provide players with the chance to play again or get a non-cash prize which value could be as high as 7 euros, according to Casino Guardian.

The casino-style gaming machines that have been illegally run in Dublin have been accepting betting stakes amounting to up to 250 euros, with the offered cash prizes being significantly higher than those legally permitted on the amusement machines.

Paschal Donohue, Ireland’s Finance Minister has revealed that the legal process of removing illegal casino-style gaming machines has begun with about 250 premises under the microscope of the authorities.

Gambling addiction a major concern in Ireland

According to experts from the Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre based in Limerick, Ireland the spreading of gambling addiction is one of the most serious problems faced by the Irish gambling sector.

Gambling addiction treatment specialists have shared their concern on this matter that apart from a multitude of opportunities to gamble, online gambling also can also be dangerous as the process could continue for an undetermined amount of time.

According to a 2015 report commissioned by the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA), 64% of adults had gambled over that last year. However the report wasn’t specific enough to outline the forms of gambling the 64% of adults had participated in.

A few months ago, a bill aimed at stopping more than a dozen unregulated operators in Ireland was unveiled.

According to the justice spokesman of Fianna Fáil, TD Jim O’Callaghan, who introduced the new  National Lottery (Protection of Central Fund) Bill, there were about 15 unregulated offshore businesses that offered bets on the national lottery.

He stated that these operators allowed people to bet on the six numbers that may be drawn out by the National Lottery, rather than purchasing a regular lottery ticket.

Mr. O’Callaghan revealed there are currently about 15 operators which allowed Irish people to bet on lottery draw outcomes and that there is also a likelihood that more of them will enter the local gambling sector.

Fewer lottery tickets purchased results in less money to support local communities. Therefore, the money placed to bet on lottery outcomes reduces the funds lotteries would receive that in part would go towards local community support..

Mr O’Callaghan stated that a total amount of approximately 225 million euros is being provided for good causes. It has also become clear that about 28% of the money derived from lottery ticket sales are being redirected towards various good causes. This includes culture, heritage and art projects, healthcare and sports amenities.

He has rolled out a proposal proposal regarding possible amendments brought to the existing Betting Acts. Such changes would disable retail and online gambling operators in Ireland from offering betting on the outcome of lottery games held under the National Lottery Acts.

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