A real venture is going to take place in Belfast, as one of the UK operators is lobbying to change the law dealing with gambling and to open the first casino in Belfast. According to this law, all the casinos are banned on the territory of Northern Ireland.
The negotiations between the Rank Group, the UK gaming provider, and the city councillors were held on Tuesday.
The councilors keep silence, although Social Development Minister Mervyn Storey, of the DUP, objected to this project.
Richard Needham, non-executive director of the Rank Group, characterized the gambling market as rather problematic now. There are loads of various illegal gambling proposals offering slot machines and other betting entertainment. He explained that in such institutions people lose fortunes without any benefits to the country. And the building of the leisure complex somewhere in the city centre or Titanic Quarter will help to close other terminals and control the gambling addiction. They are even going to assign £80 thousand annually to a charity organization the Dunleway Addiction Services to struggle gambling addiction.
The councilor Tom Ekin generally supports this venture and the Group hopes to get a special dispensation to open the casino.
The only problem is Mervyn Storey, who is going to propose to maintain the ban on casinos next year.