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Irish Casino and Card Room Gaming

The 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act provided the legislative framework for the gaming industry in Ireland until 2009. The act banned Las Vegas-style casinos from the country, but allowed a number of card clubs to operate.

Local authorities regulate card rooms and licensed gaming machines in bars, clubs and restaurants. An effort to regulate existing land-based gaming was launched in August 2006 with the establishment of the Casino Regulation Committee within the Ministry for Justice. The purpose of this initiative was to consider the possibility of legislative regulation of casino-style operations in Ireland.

In July 2008, the Justice Ministry proposed new legislation that would allow casinos to be licensed. Under the proposal, fixed-odds betting terminals would no longer be permitted to operate in bookmakers’ shops, and the current system of private gaming clubs would be altered. It also sought to establish an independent authority to oversee gaming activities.

In March 2009, the Irish government authorized the Ministry of Justice to create the Gambling Control Unit and issued a set of standards and ethical guidelines for the existing private casino clubs. Compliance from the casinos is on a voluntary basis at this point. The government made it known that operators who choose not to or cannot abide by the rules may not get a license once casinos are legal under the new gambling act. The Gambling Control Bill has not advanced through the legislature since its introduction, but it has been revised and additional provisions have been added. Supporters hope the bill will finally to pass in 2019.

Irish Casino and Card Room Gaming Properties

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