The Tipperary Venue is a proposed development of an 325 hectares (800 acres) site adjacent to the M8 Dublin to Cork road at Two-Mile Borris, County Tipperary in Ireland, into an all-weather racecourse and greyhound tracks, equestrian centre, 500 room five-star hotel, eighteen hole golf course, a replica of the White House in Washington, D.C. and a Las Vegas Strip style casino.
The development which has been granted planning permission by North Tipperary County Council would include a 500 room five star hotel, casino, a replica of the White House, and the venue's racecourse will include a national hunt track, a 7-furlong sprint track and an all-weather flood-lit track. This would be combined with a greyhound track, a dual stadium incorporating a capacity for 7,000 patrons, a racecourse featuring a National Hunt Track, sprint track and all-weather floodlit track and a 15,000-seater underground entertainment venue with a retractable roof.
There are further plans for an 18-hole golf course, driving range, retail outlets, equestrian centre, timber chapel, a heliport and runway. Many of the buildings will be powered by alternative energy, covered in grass and landscaped into the surrounding environment in tune with Ireland's Celtic traditions. The facility will have 6,000 car spaces, with an overflow capacity of 2,000 spaces for special occasions. The government has initiated a complete policy review and a redrafting of the current legislation on gaming in Ireland.
Local Independent TD 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. Thurles racecourse owned by the Molony family will close upon completion of the project. It is expected that 1,000 people will be employed annually for the three years of construction and a further 2,000 full-time jobs will be created thereafter.
Planning permission granted
In June 2011, planning permission was given by An Bord Pleanála for the proposed venue, however, the planning board did refuse permission for the 15,000-seater music venue as it was deemed inappropriate considering the rural location. The project was then dependent on the Oireachtas passing new legislation on gaming legislation to allow for the Casino to open.
In September 2011, Minister for Justice Alan Shatter said the casino was "out" based on a decision made at Cabinet on 20 September. Taoiseach Enda Kenny ruled out any large-scale gaming venues, claiming the Government was concerned about the protection of the young and vulnerable. Legislation being brought in by the Minister will ensure there was proper regulation of smaller casinos, and that the Government agreed to start work immediately on drawing up the new laws.
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