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October 28, 2009

460m gamble on Ireland’s Las Vegas

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A replica of the White House will form the centrepiece of a 460 million euro Las Vegas-style village deep in the countryside. Plans for the 800-acre development beside Two-Mile Borris in Co Tipperary include a casino, National Hunt racecourse, a 7,000 seater greyhound track, five-star hotel, a 15,000 seater concert venue – with retractable roof – and golf course. Ex-government minister Michael Lowry, top racehorse trainer Aidan O’Brien and concert promoter Denis Desmond have backed the venture dreamt up by slot-machine tycoon Richard Quirke.

The government has initiated a complete policy review and a redrafting of the current legislation on gaming in Ireland. It is hoped this will provide for the licensing of gaming casinos in the country. There are further plans for an 18-hole golf course, driving range, retail outlets, equestrian centre, timber chapel and a heliport.

Close to another €500m has to be found with independent TD for North Tipperary, Michael Lowry, who has been closely associated with the project from the start revealing that: “they will not be relying on the banking sector for investment.”

Should planning permission be granted, and that is due to lodged with North Tipperary Co Council this morning, work will begin on the site in the spring of next year.

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