UK casino chain wants to open in Ireland - when legislation is implemented

The Gambling Control Bill 2013 has yet to be passed

Ireland, gambling, legislation, card clubs, Gambling Control Bill, Aspers, heads of bill, David Hickson

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British casino chain Aspers has written to the Department of Justice expressing its interest in opening here should legislation be implemented that allows large casinos to operate in Ireland.

A number of letters have been written over the past three years, some of which have been released under Freedom Of Information to the Sunday Times.

The Gambling Control Bill was introduced by Alan Shatter in 2013, but has yet to be passed.

David Hickson is the director of the Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland, and managing director of the Fitzwilliam Casino And Card Club.

"We're not licensed, and that's part of the problem, but the other part of the problem is that the entire gambling industry at the moment is made up of licensed, unlicensed, or improperly licensed", he told Newstalk Breakfast.

"But none of them are actually regulated, there's no body with oversight over any aspect of the gambling industry".

"If you look at the register of private members card clubs in Ireland there's about 40 clubs around the country - what the bill proposes and sets out is that there would be 40 casino licenses".

"So what they're saying is we want a geographical spread, but we don't want to increase the number of casinos currently available in Ireland".

He is calling on Tánaiste and Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald to publish the draft bill published.