Louth, the smallest county in Ireland, has the highest concentration of betting shops in the country with 2.6 outlets per 10,000 population.
As reported in the Irish Examiner, the county’s 33 betting shops puts it 50% above the national average of 1.8 bookies per 10,000 population. The other counties with the highest concentrations of betting shops are Carlow, Westmeath, Longford, and Meath.
Conversely, Sligo has the lowest proportion of bookies with just eight in the county, a ratio of 1.2 shops per 10,000 population, while Cork has the third-lowest concentration of shops (1.4) despite having 78 shops, the second-highest amount behind Dublin on 259.
Paddy Power has the largest presence across the country with 264 of the 862 shops equating to a 30% share. In fact, Paddy Power, Boylesports (249), and Ladbrokes (143) combined account for 72% of all bookmaker shops in the country.
Only a select number of other operators have more than 10 branches, including Bar One Racing, Bruce Betting, Harrington Bookmakers, Tully Bookmakers, Track Sports, and Bambury Bookmakers.
According to the Irish Bookmakers’ Association (IBA), more than 500 betting shops have closed in the past decade, which has contributed to a decline in the total stakes wagered from €3.6 billion in 2007 to €2.8 billion last year, a drop of 22%.