Why Dublin Won’t Have a New Casino: Here are the Details


Posted: February 26, 2021

Updated: February 26, 2021

  • Gambling has its roots in Irish culture
  • The status of casinos in Ireland is confusing
  • Here is why Dublin won’t have a new casino
Image source: Donaldytong, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just like their neighbor, the United Kingdom, Ireland has a long association with gambling. The country is conducive about it, and many forms of gambling are legal. Horse racing and greyhound racing, for example, are integral parts of Irish culture, just like the famous pubs, the green fields with sheep, and of course Guinness. But now, it seems like there is a small hunch in the way since the opening of a new casino in the capital cannot make its way. Here is why Dublin won’t have a new casino. 

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Irish gambling laws can be confusing. It is a bit hard to keep up with them in the last ten years. But one thing never changes: the country is dedicated to being abreast with the always-changing, technology-driven industry. The most strictly regulated field of gambling is the one addressing commercial, land-based casinos, which are technically banned. But those, who are passionate about gambling can always choose between the multiple other betting options. They can for example get on one of the online gambling sites in Ireland, like King Billy Casino, and try their luck there. 

The status of casinos in Ireland

Before the mid-1950s, there was not too much regulation concerning gambling in Ireland. The Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956 prohibited commercial casinos from operating all over the country. But there is a loophole in the law. It lets business owners establish private clubs with betting machines and tables for members only. These are basically mini-casinos providing games like slots, poker, blackjack, and the whole palette. The membership is free but is only open for adults above 18 years of age. According to “legalgamblinginireland” in 2020, there were about fourteen of these spots around the country. Most of them are in Dublin, but you can find them in other bigger cities, like Limerick, Dundalk, and Cork as well. But this act is not why Dublin won’t have a new casino. 

About Dublin’s new casino 

If you have ever been to the Irish capital, I am sure that you have crossed O’Connell Bridge to check out the Spire. After that, you could swing by Ilac Shopping Centre, owned by a UK property group, Hammerson, and an insurance group, called Irish Lie. These two parties petitioned the City Council to turn one of their vacant retail units into a two-storey casino. The massive place, which used to be a Jack & Jones shop, could have been a 24-hour casino with “family entertainment” – so they said. The well-established petition was issued in the summer of 2020. But now it seems that we have to understand why Dublin won’t have a new casino. 

Why Dublin Won’t Have a New Casino
Dublin I love you – Image source: Flickr

Why Dublin won’t have a new casino

In September, Dublin City Council denied the permission, because the casino did not fit into the development plan, concerning the land-use. They added: “There are serious concerns that permitting a casino at this location would be setting a precedent for such a non-retail use within Category 1-designated streets, the primary shopping streets in the city centre.” The two co-owners then turned to An Bord Pleanála, which is the national planning appeals board. But they also turned the appeal down. Their concern was that it would have been difficult to justify such use of that spot.  

Why is it bad that Dublin won’t have a new casino

The parties included in the casino project believe that the casino would help with the viability of the Ilac Shopping Centre. They also stated that it would help to compensate for the current setback in the retail market. It seems that they will have to find another way to get through these difficult times. And as for the gamblers, they are going to have to stick to online casino sites in Ireland, like King Billy Casino

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