Dublin’s Fitzwilliam Card Club Closes After 16 Years

  • Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019 poses 'legal threat' to the private members club
  • Almost 80 employees affected by the closure, informed the club will cease trading immediately
  • Members have been reassured that deposits on account, or cash chips, will be honored
a room inside the Fitzwilliam Card Club in Dublin, Ireland
After trading for 16 years, Dublin’s popular Fitzwilliam Card Club has closed its doors due to the ‘legal threat’ posed by new gambling laws. [Image: FitzwilliamCardClub.com]

New gambling laws blamed

Dublin’s most popular casino, the Fitzwilliam Card Club, has closed its doors after trading for 16 years, resulting in the loss of almost 80 jobs.

to avoid legal issues, the club informed staff that it would cease trading immediately

The private members club has blamed its closure on new gambling laws. The implications of the Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019 could have posed a legal threat to the establishment. In order to avoid legal issues, the club informed staff that it would cease trading immediately.

Decision made after legal advice

The Fitzwilliam Card Club made the decision to close its doors after seeking legal advice regarding new gambling legislation. The Gaming and Lotteries (Amendment) Bill 2019 passed in the Oireachtas on December 11. It will update the Gaming and Lotteries Act 1956.

The new legislation will provide changes to the permit and licensing approach to small-scale, local gaming, and lottery activity. Certain stake limits and prizes are also set to change. The legislation standardizes the minimum gambling age at 18.

According to the Fitzwilliam Card Club, the Act now considers unlawful gaming with a broader definition than before. It covers any gaming without a gaming permit or gaming license. Neither of the options was available to the club, so it must close.

A spokesperson for the Fitzwilliam Card Club said: “We sought to engage with the Government and opposition regarding the threat posed by the legislation to our business. Sadly, our pleas fell on deaf ears and an amendment was not granted to safeguard the business and our 80 employees.”

reassured staff members that statutory leave and redundancy payments will be provided

The Fitzwilliam Card Club is now concentrating on ensuring staff members are cared for. The club has reassured staff members that statutory leave and redundancy payments will be provided. Support will also be provided during this difficult time.

Members have also been reassured that they can redeem money on their Fitzwilliam accounts and cash chips.