Rank Proposes Casino In Northern Ireland

Saturday 20th December, 2014

Rank Group, currently running a total of 55 casinos in Britain, has recently asked a special dispensation from the Northern Ireland assembly for the issuance of a gambling license. The move is considered to be a bold one by pundits as casinos are banned in Northern Ireland.

The proposal, if accepted, will serve to change the law in the area. The proposed license will be operating in Belfast, but city councilors have yet to arrive at a decision. Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey, however, has been adamant in his stance against the operation of a casino in the area.

The main crux of Rank Group is the major boon an establishment of the proposed casino's caliber could have in the locality. If granted a license and the law subsequently repealed, the casino could generate up to 400 new jobs in Belfast. Additionally, , non-executive director of the Rank Organisation Richard Needham stressed the fact that illegal gambling is rampant in Northern Ireland due to the fact that no access to legal gambling is readily available

"A lot of it is illegal," he said. "All the evidence goes to show when you have a well-regulated, properly-run entertainment leisure complex like this, it's much easier to deal with problem gambling than leaving it to slot machines where you can lose thousands of pounds." he added.

Rank Group also detailed its offer to provide an annual donation of £80,000 to the Dunlewey Addiction Services, as part of its willingness to provide aid for gambling addicts.

While the decision of the city council remains uncertain, one thing is for sure: Rank Group will continue its proposal for a casino license in Northern Ireland, and its efforts in lobbying for a change in the gambling laws in the area will persist.

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