Private investors have stumbled upon an opportunity to increase profits and overall tourism to Ireland. Plans have been fashioned to build a massive, 29 acre, €430 million tourism complex off the M1 Dublin-Belfast motorway in Dowdallshill, Dundalk.
The building of this complex, including a massive casino, will bring many benefits to the area including a proposed 1,198 full time jobs followed by 388 casual direct jobs. Other than the casino, other attractions to be built include ski slopes, a 100-plus bed family hostel, a 110,000-sq ft indoor concert arena, a bowling alleys, a cinema, a children’s zone, a 40,000-sq ft surf and swim centre, bars, restaurants, and sports and leisure stores. According to estimates, this complex will attract up to 6 million visitors a year.
According to plans, this complex will be constructed through a series of stages. The international casino and additional hotel accommodations will be the last things to be built in the complex. This is partially due to the current Irish gambling laws.
According to Irish law, casino gambling is illegal. By the luck of the Irish, a loophole was found in the law which allows private, members-only “gaming clubs.” These gaming clubs have basically taken the place of casinos in Ireland. The plan to build the casino in Dundalk is based on the assumption that the legislation regarding casino gambling is changed in the near future.
Though casinos are outlawed in Ireland, the country is pretty lax when it comes to gambling in general. According to estimates, the Irish spent over €3.6 billion on gambling in 2006. Internet gambling in Ireland is very popular.
Online gambling sites in Ireland are able to pull in a decent amount of revenue due to the fact that people like the game selections available in casinos, be it on or offline. The building of this new complex and the successful construction of a casino, in conjunction with the right legislation, could bring a lot of capital to Ireland. It may take the business away from online casinos, but the amount of revenue being collected by the state would likely remain stable.