Majority of betting shops set for temporary closure over coronavirus

Paddy Power and Boylesports to close retail outlets until March 29th

The majority of the retail bookmakers will close their doors until March 29th. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

The majority of the retail bookmakers will close their doors until March 29th. Photograph: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

 

The majority of betting shops appear set to close in Ireland within the next 48 hours and will remain closed until March 29th.

The Irish Bookmakers Association, which claims to be the largest representative body of the bookmaking industry in Ireland, said on Monday evening the “vast majority” of its members will shut.

The move includes Paddy Power, which confirmed it will close all its shops from Tuesday morning until March 29th.

It said in a statement: “In line with the spirit and letter of the social distancing guidelines from the government in the Republic of Ireland we are closing all Paddy Power betting shops in the Republic of Ireland from tomorrow morning until March 29.

“This is a developing situation and we will review all necessary measures as matters progress with safety of our employees and customers foremost in our minds.”

Boylesports announced it will close its 278 shops in Ireland at 8.0pm on Wednesday evening until March 29th at the earliest.

The IBA spokeswoman Sharon Byrne said: “The decision has been taken by most operators to close their doors in the next day to 48 hours.

“Social distancing is an issue and whilst we have measures in place you can’t guarantee it at the counter at the ‘off’ of a race.

“So each operator has had a look at their business. Not everyone – I can’t force people to close. But the vast majority of my members have agreed to close in the next 48 hours.”

The news comes on the back of plummeting share prices for the major bookmaking firms. Shares in the Paddy Power parent company, Flutter, fell 20 per cent at the opening of trade in Dublin on Monday morning.

An IBA statement said on Monday evening: “The decision was made by operators after discussions about the clear Irish government guidance that has been issued around social distancing.

“The decision lies with each retailer whether they close their doors and how they look after and inform their staff and customers, along with giving customers the opportunity to collect outstanding winnings in the process. The IBA will continue to monitor the situation with its members in advance of March 29 and its offices will remain open throughout the period.

Byrne added: ““It is very important that the retail betting sector acts responsibly and plays its part in the efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19 in Ireland.

“Operators continue to adhere to the advices given by the Government and most will look to close their doors in the next couple of days once staff and customers have been informed.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.