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Casino TwoMileBorris Could Be Nearer Than We Think

The recent announcement of a proposed Casino for the village of TwoMileBorris, Thurles, Co.Tipperary, could be closer than we think, if the present Government were to release details of their proposed intended changes to the Gaming and Lotteries Act .

This outdated legislation, The Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956, is a major hurdle which currently prevents Ireland from putting in place a proper regulatory regime that would help this country to become a major E-Commerce hub for, in particular, the global online-casino business.

A major review of the present Gaming and Lotteries Act, which began in mid 2009, is now complete and a decision from the Government on intended changes is slow to materialise. A recent speech by An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD given to the horse-racing industry, recently, suggests the industry would receive financial support into the future, through taxes on online betting, so what is the plan and why the delay in these recessionary times?

Properly implemented and governed, the introduction of a new Act has the potential to create some 5,000 to 8,000 new jobs for e-commerce professionals, web developers, accountants, business analysts and mathematicians. Properly legislated and  implemented changes to this Act, introduced immediately, would mean that if Ireland were to capture a mere 5% share of the present global online Casino business, it would immediately represent an Irish sector worth at least €2 billion.

Any changes which would open up this present outdated legislation, must first ensure that those vulnerable, including young people, are protected and that measures are formulated to ensure gambling is kept free of criminal elements, through its business being both fairly and transparently conducted.

Any changes to the present 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act should include a new strong regulatory body,  be free of all / any government interference and should also have under its umbrella, control over the present National Lottery, proceeds of the latter which appears presently to be the gift of government ministers. Irish National Lottery Sports Capital Grant Allocations in the past, appear to show a clear bias towards the geographical areas represented by the Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism and the Minister for Finance. This bias is the result of the procedures by which the funds are allocated.

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