A LOCAL business owner has said that he “respects” the decision by Dundalk Town Council not to extend the designated gambling areas to encompass his business.
Bob Evans who runs the state-of-the-art new Sport Bingo hall on the site of the old Sportsbowl wanted the designated area to be extended so as to facilitate gaming machines on his premises.
“They’ve decided not to extend the designated area and I respect their decision. We still have an absolutely wonderful facility and a first class restaurant.”
The Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956 would apparently have to be amended as at this point does allow for gaming areas in Dundalk to be changed.
“It would have been a very small area within the complex that would have been designated for gaming machines anyway.
“We are want to move forward from this, and if it in the future the chance to amend the law in this regard, we can have a look at it then.”
Mr Evans made 150 submissions to the council regarding a change to the designation of the Sports Bingo complex.
The Sports Bingo complex is the most well equipped and modern bingo arena in the country and can cater for up to 500 players.
There is also a restaurant and cafe on site.
Speaking to the Dundalk Democrat previously, Bob told the paper that: “You have 100 people every week leaving Dundalk by coach to go play Bingo in Newry. Then in Newry there a coach going up to Belfast to play. These are people who could stay here, enjoying themselves and adding to the economy here in Dundalk.”
“We have a 500 seater Bingo hall here where the bowling lanes used to be. It has the latest high tech equipment and a top of the range seating setup. It is pure luxury and comfort for players.”
Mr Evans believes that the between the Racecourse and the Sports Bingo, and other projects down the line, that this area north of Dundalk could become a tourist hub, generating much need finances for Dundalk aswell as creating jobs.