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Ireland a land of opportunity for online casinos

19 Aug 2009

IRELAND -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Ireland is in a constant state of change just as many countries they are trying hard these days to seek out ventures that will bring jobs and a good standard of living to their citizens.

These goals are sometime hindered by governments that lack the will to update laws to allow some of the new and very lucrative industries operate in a profitable way. For example if Ireland chooses to make a bid for a piece of a €44bn-a-year online casino industry what would it take?

According to a report by DKM Consultants, if Ireland were to put a proper infrastructure in place that is legally sound it could attract the presence of a large number of online casino companies that could generate employment and tax revenue for the Exchequer. The report pointed out that if Ireland were to capture just 5% of the global online casino industry it would represent a local sector worth €2.2bn and that would generate 5,000 jobs, at an average salary of €40,000 per annum.

The 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act is a stumbling block thus far, a dated act that keeps the online gambling industry from entering Ireland. The Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform has described the 1956 Act as a "relic of social history utterly unsuited to effectively regulate gaming in a modern wealthy European state"

David Hickson, director of the Gaming and Leisure Association, said, "Ireland has a huge opportunity to establish itself as a major hub of the online gaming sector. There is a very tight timeline for Ireland to get this right. The UK has already moved to put a regulatory structure in place to capture this vibrant industry, but it got its taxation structure for the industry wrong. France and Spain are working on the legislation, so Ireland needs to hurry up. The Gaming and Leisure Association has been lobbying for the past three years for new legislation and a regulatory framework.

Geoff Collins of ViewTec a software operation that provides 'live' online gambling at the Fitzwilliam Card Club said, "The gaming industry is looking for a regulated open economy in which to invest. The biggest gamble Ireland can make is to continue to make slow progress on it. The industry is going to march on and the question is: does Ireland want to have a part of it?"

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