JUST months after the town council shot down plans for a new amusement arcade in town, fresh plans have been lodged to the local authority.
Plans for an ‘amusement arcade’ in the Ballyraine area of Letterkenny have been submitted by Darren McGarry, 5 Grey Rocks, Milford.
He is seeking planning permission to change an existing retail outlet at Ballyraine Business Park into an amusement arcade.
The application, which also includes a change of signage at the front of the premises, is before the council tonight (Monday).
The local authority recently shot down plans by the same applicant for an amusement arcade at the former Gleneany House premises at Station Roundabout. Councillors expressed concerns about the development of an amusement arcade warning such facilities could lead to social problems such as gambling addiction. They also stated the development was not in keeping with the town plan.
Under the terms of the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act, a local authority has the power to allow gaming in its functional area, but in Letterkenny the council has never resolved to permit it.
However, it appears a legal loophole in the 1956 Gaming and Lotteries Act is being used to overcome such issues. The 1956 Act is currently the subject of a Bill going through the Dáil to radically overhaul gaming law and bring legal clarity to the debate.
There is a loophole in the 1956 Act, and it is currently the subject of a Bill going through the Oireachtas. In Letterkenny private clubs are being formed to run casino type operations. If there is no alcohol being sold on the premises, they are permitted.