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Dublin: 18 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020
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Fitzwilliam Card Club closes after 16 years citing 'legal threat' of new gambling laws

The closure will result in the loss of almost 80 jobs at the Dublin 2 private members club.

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A POPULAR DUBLIN casino has closed its doors after 16 years due to “the legal threat” posed to the business by new gambling laws. 

The Fitzwilliam Card Club informed staff today that it will cease trading “effective immediately” resulting in the loss of almost 80 jobs. 

The private members club said it made the decision following legal advice regarding the implications of the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019, which passed all stages in the Oireachtas on 11 December.

This piece of legislation will update the previous Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 by bringing changes to the permit and licencing approach to small-scale, local gaming and lottery activity. It will also update certain stake and prize limits and standardise the minimum gambling age at 18. 

The Fitzwilliam Club claimed the Act has broadened the definition of unlawful gaming to any gaming without a ‘gaming permit’ or a ‘gaming licence’.

“Neither of these options was available to the Club consequently the Fitzwilliam Card Club was forced to close,” a spokesperson for the Fitzwilliam said. 

“It is with great sadness and regret that we make this announcement today. Understandably, our concentrations will now be with our staff to ensure that they are appropriately catered for, particularly at this time of year. We would like to thank all of our staff for their commitment and hard work over the past 16 years”.

“We sought to engage with the Government and opposition regarding the threat posed by the legislation to our business. Sadly, our pleas fell on deaf ears and an amendment was not granted to safeguard the business and our 80 employees,” the spokesperson said. 

The club said it has reassured all staff that it will fulfil all statutory obligations, including statutory leave and redundancy payments and that every effort will be made to offer support during this difficult period.

The club has also reassured members that any deposits on account, or cash chips, will be honoured in full.

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Adam Daly

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