Inishowen Councillors vote 5:4 to allow gaming arcades

County councillors in Inishowen have voted five to four to adopt an Act that will allow gaming arcades to operate legally there.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 1:17 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 2:21 pm

Councillors had been asked to adopt Part Three of the Gaming and Lotteries Act to allow arcades to obtain gaming licences.

At today’s Inishowen Municipal District meeting, five councillors votes for the adoption: Colrs Bernard McGuinness, Martin McDermott, Paul Canning, Michael Doherty and Nicholas Crossan.

Councillor Rena Donaghey submitted a counter proposal against the adoption of the act. Colr Donaghey, as well as Colrs Martin Farren, Jack Murray and Albert Doherty voted against the adoption of the Act.

The vote was passed by five votes to four.

Arcades in Inishowen currently operate under arcade licences.

At a meeting late last year, business owners operating the arcades, which include two in Bridgend, one in Muff and two in Buncrana, urged councillors to adopt the Act.

They said if the Act is not adopted, they would not be able to obtain gaming licences and Revenue, which had already seized machines, would continue with enforcement.

They said this would lead to the closure of arcades, with the loss of almost 130 jobs. They also told how over 90% of their trade is cross-border.

The vote followed the publication of notices by Donegal County Council and a call for public submissions on the issue.

Colr Donaghey said members of the public had raised concern that there had not been enough consultation on the issue.

Letterkenny Municipal District will also vote on the issue today.