Cork City Council Rejects Ballincollig Casino Proposal After William Hill and SPFL Seal Sponsorship Deal

Cork City Council Rejects Ballincollig Casino Proposal After William Hill and SPFL Seal Sponsorship DealThe city council of Cork, Ireland, has shut down plans for the establishment of a new Coalquay Leisure Limited casino in Ballincollig. This news follows the cementing of a controversial sponsorship deal signed between the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and one of the UK’s major gambling giants, William Hill.

According to the local news website Cork Beo, Cork’s city officials reached the decision to reject Coalquay Leisure Limited’s proposal after almost 50 Ballincollig residents and local businesses expressed their disapproval of the plan. Their concerns surrounded issues of public safety, noise pollution, and more.

The casino would have been situated on the premise of a building that used to house a fitness centre located in the Westside Retail Park. The park is already home to various other businesses, however, including a Regatta-branded clothing store. Its managing director, Brian Fox, had been particularly concerned for the safety of both his staff members and customers, and warned that the casino would have resulted in “crime and antisocial behaviour problems.” The building of the former fitness centre is also near public schools, and this was another reason behind locals’ complaints. It should also be noted that Ballincollig residents who enjoy gambling as a form of leisure already have a casino in town that they can visit and play at.

Sinn Féin’s Joe Lynch was pleased with the news that the plans have fallen through. According to him, the proposal came with “no discernible community benefits,” and he deemed the council’s decision a “big win for Ballincollig.”

William Hill Becomes New Sponsor of the SPFL

William Hill Becomes New Sponsor of the SPFLWhile it seems some Irish suburban areas have successfully lobbied against the local expansion of gambling companies, across the Irish Sea, Scotland’s major football league has officially entered a business partnership with sportsbook and casino company William Hill.

Information regarding the then-potential deal was first revealed in May, and it was met with a range of complaints by SPFL fans on social media who were concerned about the integrity of Scottish football and betting sponsorships’ ties to problem gambling. As previously reported by the Greenock Telegraph, MP Ronnie Cowan also spoke about the issue and how, according to him, sponsorship deals play a major role in the normalisation of gambling. Additionally, he claimed that gambling adverts can be harmful to those suffering from addiction.

These complaints did not deter the SPFL, and the deal is set to last five years. According to the announcement made by William Hill’s parent company, Evoke Gaming, the bookmaker will be the title sponsor of all SPFL divisions starting the 2024/25 season.

It seems that both SPFL and William Hill do wish to address the issue of gambling harm, however, which is why their deal will be accompanied by a gambling harm awareness programme in partnership with EPIC Global Solutions.

Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, and William Hill Marketing Director Michael Sheehan commemorated the occasion while putting an emphasis on the awareness programme, with Mr Shehan emphasising how “customer safety and responsible gambling are at the heart” of everything William Hill does.

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Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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