After launching a successful clampdown on illegal gambling operations, Irish authorities have decided to expand the scope of their activities and crackdown on illegal casinos in Dublin. The actions are coming at a time when the country’s gambling control bill is struggling to see any progress for five years.
According to a report carried by the Casino Guardian, the Revenue Commissioners have decided that illegal casinos based in Dublin will hear their death sentence. The Finance Minister states at the time that the process for removal of gambling machines at local premises had already started. The number of unlicensed gambling machines in the city has increased considerably in 2018. These terminals violate existing city laws which call for the ban of these machines via a directive of the Dublin City Council. Casinos offering these terminals also violate some rules of the Revenue Commissioners.
The directive that bans these machines was issued in 1988 by the City Council which ensured that no gambling licenses are offered in the city. The casinos operating in the city had to file for amusement licenses instead, which must undergo lax regulatory controls. Amusement machines do not provide monetary prizes to the users. They can only offer games which allow the users to play again or get non-cash-based prices with values going up to 7 euros.
The illegal betting machines, on the other hand, have been accepting betting stakes going as high as 250 euros. The offered cash prizes of are a lot larger which have permitted the amusement machines. Media reports suggest that Dublin based premises have been offering some illegal casino-style gaming machines to users, post which the Revenue Commissioners sent enforcement letters to several such places.
The authorities have also placed a deadline for the places to eliminate these gaming machines from their premises to avoid further actions. Paschal Donohoe, the Irish Finance Minister, suggested earlier that about 250 such promises are under the scrutiny of the enforcement authorities.
Irish citizens have also grown increasingly addicted to gambling over time. Experts from the Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre in Limerick notes that gambling addiction is one of the most serious problems in the gambling sector. Lack of adequate regulations and increasing popularity of online gambling options among the young is also an alarming condition. Online gambling is also considered more dangerous as it could continue for an undetermined amount of time as opposed to traditional gambling.
The National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) suggests that 64% of adults have gambled in the past year. The report in question did not provide any details into the matter but covered a broader definition of gambling. Revenue authorities are currently only cracking down on illegal gaming machines, collecting over 1 million euros in extra taxes from businesses that failed to comply with their rules. Anti-gambling campaigners in the country suggest that the authorities are still not doing enough to regulate the actual gambling inside these venues.