Richard Quirk has a dream. To turn 800 acres of land near the Village of Two-Mile Borris in Ireland (11km from Thurles off the Dublin-Cork highway) into the biggest mega-casino hotel complex in Europe.
Mr. Quirk envisions an Irish 550-bedroom five-star hotel, a 6000-square-meter casino (1.5 acres), a golf course, an all-weather race course, a heliport and a greyhound track. He even wants to build a full sized replica of the White House.
Casino resorts of this size have been only built in Las Vegas, Macau, Singapore and Atlantic City. The casino-resort would create an estimated 1000 jobs during construction, 3000 permanent positions as well as thousands of other new jobs from business feeding off the visitors to the casino. Mr. Quirk already has the land required for the venture.
Mr. Quick, in a short statement welcomed the planning decision and said his architects would also make a new application to North Tipperary County Council for permission to build an indoor arena for equestrian events and a polo field.
This week, An Bord Pleanala allowed the massive €460 million ($610 million) construction project to commence despite opposition from the planning inspector, the Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland, and more importantly the Irish coalition government.
The main problem the mega-casino faces are Irish gambling laws, which forbid all casinos. The Irish government, which has been looking at a gambling framework for the past six months, hasn’t even read the first paragraph.
There is general anxiety that if the Irish mega-casino would be granted a license, every single Irish male would drop their families and run to the mega-casino to gamble and drink away their life savings.
According to online gambling news in Ireland, casino style gambling is illegal in Ireland, yet around 50 private members-only clubs offer casino games.
Irish government sources clearly stated this past Monday that “there is no desire in the Coalition to amend the legislation to allow for the casino to be set up.” There is always the dole to look forward to if the Irish government is against creating new jobs for its citizens.
All online casinos in Ireland are illegal as well, forcing local residents to freely gamble at foreign based online casinos while the Irish government misses out on millions of tax dollars.
The Irish planning inspector opposed the construction because she believes it will adversely affect a few dilapidated taverns in the adjacent poverty stricken towns. The Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland opposes construction because it will negatively affect the 50 private casino clubs that fund the association.
As of this point in time the entire project is filled with uncertainty since it would be interesting to see who will invest such a sum of money into a venture that the government clearly states will not be permitted. Perhaps yet another Blarney Stone Pub and a small private gambling club will benefit the local economy better.