The newest hard to take in news hitting the gaming industry is that a popular casino in Dublin announced on Monday that it would be shutting down its operations. Fitzwilliam Casino & Card Club has been in business for the past 16 years and has a staff of 78 people, who will be left jobless.
In a statement, the spokesperson of the club said the decision was arrived at with much difficulty and is unavoidable after the government passed a new bill regulating gambling. He also added that the private members of the club would now focus on helping its staff sail through these difficult times.
The new bill has introduced new maximum stakes and even maximum payouts from gambling machines. In addition, the new bill has expanded the meaning of unlawful gaming to include gambling activities that lack a gaming permit or license.
According to a news post at the calvinayre.com, a license allows gambling on gambling machines that are clearly stated in the bill while a permit only allows gambling whereby the player and the owner have equal odds. This left the casino with a very limited number of games to operate as it owns the same gaming slots and tables like any other casino in the world.
It is said the casino tried to reach out to the government to have a discussion but the government could hear none of it. However, all may not be lost. The club hopes that a solution can be added to the Gambling Control Bill, which was first mentioned in 2013 but does not seem to ever progress.
On the other side of the country, Northern Ireland Department for Communities (DFC), has begun consulting with the public about its laws on gambling. It wants to gather information from its citizens on whether the set regulations are effective.
The DFC considers the laws to be outdated, rigid and do not accommodate the changing technological times. The current gambling laws in Northern Ireland were passed in 1985. It allows sports betting in some 300 licensed shops and tracks, plus installation of gaming machines in public places including local lotteries and arcades.
In addition, the law exposed the gambling machines to very low stakes as well as payouts. There are no proper casinos in Northern Ireland and online betting is widely available though it is illegal. This is according to a 2016 survey that showed that approximately 15.8% of local gamblers enjoy online betting.
These are not the only things the DFC is concerned about. Gambling advertising is another item on their agenda. The feel the laws need to make it clear whether those advertising should pay tax so as to fund the gambling programs responsible.
It is also still unclear whether the country should have a team that regulates gambling or whether those who cheat in gambling should face the law. Contributions to the new regulations are welcome by February 2020 and speculations are that many casinos will want the regulations to be reviewed afresh.