The Irish Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, claimed that the illegal casino-style gaming terminals in the capital city.
Mr. Donohoe responded to a parliamentary question following an investigation initiated by The Times, according to which gambling machines had been operated without the necessary licenses in Dublin, brutally violating local gambling legislation under which casino-style machines are suspended on the territory of the capital.
As previously reported by Casino Guardian, the investigation of The Times found that some casinos are not in line with a directive and revenue rules about licenses issued by the City Council. To make things worse, some gambling premises do not have checks to make sure that individuals who enter are over 18 years old.
At the time of the parliamentary hearing, the finance spokesman of Fianna Fáil, Niall Collins, asked the minister whether he was satisfied with the way that constantly growing sector was being regulated by the competent agencies, including the local authorities, An Garda Síochána and the Revenue Commissioners. As reported by The Times, Mr. Donohoe refused to comment on the individuals involved in the process but explained that a number of follow-up actions were being enacted, especially the ones related to tax and licensing issues.
Illegal Casino-Style Games Offer Staggering Bet Limits
Last month, it became clear that the number of casino-style machines in Dublin which operate illegally has been constantly rising. An investigation initiated by The Times revealed that one of the wealthiest businessmen in Ireland, Richard Quirke, was among the owners and operators of such unlicensed gambling machines in the capital.
For the time being, Mr. Quirke is the owner of Dr Quirkey’s amusement arcade in Dublin. Allegedly, he has turned a neighbouring building into a casino venue by using so-called revenue licenses which are supposed to be for amusement machines.
As mentioned above, such casinos operate in breach of a city council directive and Revenue rules. Currently, casino-style gaming machines are suspended under the gambling regulatory rules.
The long-term lack of adequate regulation in the field has been blamed for the increased levels of the problem, making the sector hard to be actually monitored and controlled. What is even worse, no real protection for customers is provided. As shared by the Chief Executive Officer of Problem Gambling Ireland, Barry Grant, the local authorities are currently more focused on gambling addictions associated with online gambling services. Unfortunately, there is still a large number of players who prefer betting on so-called casino-style machines, which are currently illegal.
Casino-style games, however, turned out to be quite attractive to local players who have a special preference to roulette machines. For the time being, the stake limit allowed on such machines is much higher than on the notorious fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) in the UK. The maximum bet which is allowed at casino-style machines in Ireland could reach up to €500 per a single spin, making the possible amount that could be lost literally breathtaking.