Rising COVID rates in the UK and Ireland has forced the latter to implement level 5 lockdown protocols, forcing the closure of its land-based bookmakers, betting shops and casinos.
Ireland has confirmed that it will be entering a six-week lockdown period – Irish bookmakers will therefore close their doors to the public. Only horse racing and grey hound racing will be exempt from the measures as it stands.
The news from Ireland has already had an affect on Wales, which also announced that its land-based gambling shops would be closing from tomorrow.
The Irish lockdown is expected to put more than 800 betting locations out of business. This includes betting shops and casinos. The lockdown was initially expected to be two weeks long. However, a lot will depend on what develops during this period.
The closure will undoubtedly have a detrimental effect on the UK and Irish gambling industry. Many bookmakers are still feeling the impact of the earlier lockdowns. Losses for the gambling industry also turn into losses for the UK and Irish governments as well.
Many land-based bookies have, at considerable expense, worked around the clock to ensure their premises abided by the new rules issued by the government in relation to COVID regulations. It should not come as a surprise that some bookies are angry that they have been forced to close again despite doing everything in their power to adhere to government guidelines.
It is expected that punters will go online to make their bets considering online businesses are entirely unaffected.