Monday 20 November 2017

Bookies join protest over 'archaic' bans

Michael McHale

Legislation forcing betting shops to close on Easter Sunday is "archaic" and needs to be abolished, it was claimed yesterday.

Bookmakers are the latest group to voice anger over bans during the Easter period, after the Good Friday pub ban hit the headlines when Limerick bars were allowed to open because of the Munster-Leinster rugby clash.

The Irish Bookmakers' Association (IBA) has called on the Government to banish a 79-year-old law prohibiting bookmakers from being open on the holy day.

And while the law also stops betting shops from opening today and Christmas Day, they feel the Easter Sunday ban is particularly harsh given the large amount of meetings taking place. There will be racing in Cork and Fairyhouse here, as well as Plumpton, Towcester and Musselburgh in the UK.

"No betting shops will be open this Easter Sunday thanks to the archaic and completely out-of-date legislation," IBA chairwoman Sharon Byrne said.

"This legislation was drafted in a different time and in a different Ireland."

The IBA predicts that the Government will lose out on about €177,000 in tax revenue from the day.

Irish Independent

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