Citing pressure from unregulated online casinos in Ireland and the general economic situation, Dublin’s Silks Club Casino will be shutting down next month and its assets liquidated just 2-1/2 years after opening.
Silks Club was part of the general boom in casinos that happened in Ireland in the 2000s. Though only established in March 2008, Silks enjoyed tremendous early success, pretty much immediately becoming known as the most upscale gambling house in Ireland in its attempt to capture the old-fashioned feel of luxury gambling. The venue had been habitually listed among the tops in all of Europe and was a favorite for private parties hosted by local celebrities such as Team Ireland rugby star Brian O’Driscoll.
However, things started going south for the casino in the second half of 2009, as the popularity of online poker continued to increase, as did gaming at online casinos in Ireland generally. Silks Club director Leonard Kinsella stated simply that “we just weren’t getting the trade” and thus will be calling in a liquidator to assess the business. Silks Club had employed 12.
The government is soon expected to release new proposals for licensure and regulation for land-based gaming houses, Internet casinos, and online poker sites in Ireland. Taoiseach Brian Cowen in fact stated his support for such regulation in May and proposals were expected as early as June, but no proposals to evolve Irish gambling laws have yet appeared.