An Bord Pleanála has granted planning permission to build a controversial €460m 'super casino' in Two Mile Borris, Co. Tipperary but what effect will such a massive gambling development have on the local community, and on Irish people?
A study using data from every US county from 1977 to 1996, found that casinos are associated with increased crime, including aggravated assault, rape, murder, robbery, burglary and car theft.
Other studies have found that adults living within 50 miles of a casino had twice the normal rate of problem gambling. In 2008, the British government scrapped its plans to build similar super casinos, amid fears of the vast social problems they might cause and doubts about their economic benefits.
Recent international studies have found that casinos produce the 'most problems' of all forms of gambling, and that ''residential proximity to casinos predicted gambling problems''.
Business insiders believe that a casino on such a gargantuan scale in a rural location is doomed to financial failure, while An Taisce and others are critical of the decision to award planning.
The local community is understandably welcoming of the 2,000 jobs the facility may provide once it is operational. However, could the social costs for the region, and for Ireland, prove too great? We know who will benefit, but what about the victims?