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No "super-casino" for Ireland

Discussion in 'European Land Based Casinos' started by Avi Fichtner, Jul 21, 2013.

    Jul 21, 2013
  1. Avi Fichtner

    Avi Fichtner Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Writer
    Location:
    Brussles
    I recently read that Ireland is on its way to introduce a new gambling law. If enacted, the “Gambling Control Bill, 2013“ will legalize gambling in Ireland, but at the same time will place harsh restrictions on land-based casinos. In effect, the new law rules out the establishment of super-sized, Vegas-Style casinos in Ireland. The bill limits the number of casinos in the country to 40, and casinos will be allowed to have a maximum of 15 gaming tables and only 25 slot machines.
    So what does this mean for Irish casino players? Would it be commercially worthwhile for business to offer top-rate gaming activities? Would players, in-effect, be funneled to online gambling?

    Avi Fichtner
    Europe Casino Guide
     
  2. Jul 21, 2013
  3. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    It might mean less competition and a poorer deal for players as an individual operator would want more than one small casino, or it wouldn't be worth them setting up an operation in a new market. Ireland might see 2 or 3 operators dominating most of the 40 allowed casinos.


    A similar situation exists in the UK, but for high street bookies. Each was limited to 4 FOBTs, so what happened was that we ended up with about a dozen or more bookies in a concentrated area, often more than one run by an individual operator, each with the allowed 4 FOBTs. It was a loophole that allowed an operator to site far more than 4 FOBTs in a given town centre, making a mockery of the restriction.

    The difference in Ireland is that an overall cap of 40 has been applied, which will make such wriggling around the rules harder. It's something the UK should have thought of by imposing an overall cap on the number of bookies in any given town or city.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2013
  5. Andy Walker

    Andy Walker Full Member

    Occupation:
    Tax Payer
    Location:
    UK
    No offence or anything but for someone that has championed the cause of the UK government sorting out possibly all ills and rogues in the Casino / gambling world with possible upcoming legislation you kind of shoot yourself in the preverbal foot here?
     
  6. Jul 21, 2013
  7. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    How?

    A "free for all" is not a good thing for players, a well regulated market is.

    The limit would be for local councils to set and apply, and there would be no overall national limit as there is in Ireland. The fact that the bookies found and exploited a loophole shows the rules were not tight enough, and the proliferation is not for the player's benefit, if anything, it's to their detriment.
    In Ireland, the overall national limit is too low, and may lead to an uneven distribution and lack of competition. It will mean most places will have just one casino, and this one casino will not have to compete for business as the other 39 will be in another town. If there is real competition, it will only be in the biggest towns and cities where 2 or more casinos are allowed to open.

    The other problem is that they simply decided to apply a limit of 4 FOBTs per shop, when what they should really have done is regulate how they were programmed and promoted so that however many there are, players got a fair deal.

    It may actually be better to have fewer shops, but more FOBTs in each, along with better supervision.


    The near "free for all" in the online market is leading to all sorts of problems for players. This is a different problem of there being too many casinos chasing too few players, and little or no protection for these players when things go wrong.
     
  8. Jul 21, 2013
  9. Andy Walker

    Andy Walker Full Member

    Occupation:
    Tax Payer
    Location:
    UK
    The UK government never created a well regulated market, they created a mess that was easily abused and brought about the possibility and the reality of gambling problems for people by making it too easy and accessible?

    I really hope in Ireland that barriers are created to slow / stem and or discourage gambling as a stable diet and be one that should be thought of as a treat and one that is pure Entertainment with a proviso of paying for it with an albeit rare pay off.

    I am ashamed of the way the UK government handled gambling and the sickness of the Category D machines that can openly create addiction for children, this appals me.

    Slipping in the online example to slide away was great but:-

    Regulate? Disaster more like?
     
  10. Jul 22, 2013
  11. vinylweatherman

    vinylweatherman You type well loads CAG MM

    Occupation:
    STILL At Leisure
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Commercial carve out for seaside arcades and leisure complexes that looked like losing a huge chunk of their "family entertainment" income.

    The seeds were sown long ago, when the strict controls and policy of gradual increases in max jackpot and stake were thrown aside when the industry put pressure for the end of the 20p stake and £8 jackpot limit. Initially, the reviews took place every three years, and around 1990 the 20p stake was introduced with a £4.80 jackpot. Over the next 9 years, it held at 20p and the jackpot crept first to £6, and then £8. Then suddenly the brakes failed, and it was 25p/£10, and within a year it was 30p/£15, and after holding for a bit, it was 30p/£25. Then it went to multi stake and a £35 jackpot, and the first £1 £500 jackpot machines turned up. There seemed to be a surge in £500 machines at the expense of the more "entertaining" fruit machines. The £500 machines took money much faster because they were mostly "low tech", so each game took much less time to play out.

    The one positive step was the banning of machines in places like take away shops, where there was often one, and kids were easily able to play it. The creation of 18+ zones for stakes greater than 10p, plus a requirement to actively police them to prevent underage play, helped in part, but of course left the glaring loophole of the low stakes and low jackpot machines that kids could still play. These games are often converted 18+ games, so I can see how kids will see them as a stepping stone to playing the "grown up" versions as soon as they are allowed, or can get a fake ID and grow a beard.

    In my playing days, travelling on the motorways, there WERE regular players in their teens, often slipping in on pushbikes or on foot from the nearby town just to play the machines. The staff did chuck them out every half hour or so in some places, but the policing was laughable, they just went into the video area, and straight back on the machines when staff left, knowing that they were safe for the next half hour.
    They clearly kept losing, as they would often approach adult players to tell them "insider" tricks to help them win, and if a win did occur, they expected a tip of a couple of quid. I had to deal with them on a regular basis, and do remember asking a few why they were broke if they knew all these sure fire winning tricks;) I would also say "are you 18" or "you don't look 18" when they asked if I could change a note for them so they could play.
     
  12. Jul 22, 2013
  13. Avi Fichtner

    Avi Fichtner Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Writer
    Location:
    Brussles
    Well, what I take from the discussion is that the cap of 40 tables/ 25 machines per casino make it commercially none-viable to hold a single casino license. And that, therefore, the market will be dominated by two-three large operators.
    Wouldn’t they be better off creating a government owned monopoly, like in Austria or the Netherlands. I visited several branches of Casino Austria (the owner of all 12 casinos in Austria) and found them to be an example of top-quality service. I also visited the Valkenburg branch of Holland Casino (owner of all 14 casinos in the Netherlands) and had a similarly good experience.
     

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