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Major economic benefits expected from legalization of online gambling in Ireland
By Gene Koprowski
The government-appointed committee has recommended that casinos, which currently operate as private clubs in Ireland, be licensed and supervised by a regulator.
The group that represents casino operators in Ireland says regulation of the sector could have huge benefits for the economy.
However, the government has yet to take action on the report.
The Gaming and Leisure Association of Ireland says new regulation could lead to the creation of around 3,000 jobs and generate â‚¬50 million, or $50 million, in revenues for the Exchequer.
The trade group also claims up to 10,000 jobs could be created if Ireland established itself as a hub for the online gambling sector.
Casinos are currently illegal in Ireland, but in recent years up to 50 clubs operating roulette, cards and other gaming activities have sprung up around. They are probably legal as they are "member's only" organizations.
The Gaming and Leisure Association, which represents 12 of these clubs, claims they are not subject to the Act because they function as private member ™ clubs.
The former minister for justice, Michael McDowell, expressed concerns about casinos, but wants to update the legislation.
The report of an advisory group, which is believed to recommend the legalization of medium-sized casinos subject to strict regulation, has remained unpublished for over a year.
The association says private clubs employ 1,000 staff.
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