In line with the Irish government’s social-isolation policy due to COVID-19, independent bookmaker BoyleSports has confirmed that it will be closing its entire retail estate across the Republic of Ireland.
The closure, which will impact 278 retail shops, will come into effect from 8pm on 18 March, and will remain in effect until after 29 March, at the earliest.
Conor Gray, chief executive of BoyleSports, stated: “BoyleSports has a responsibility to protect its staff and its customers. Like other Irish businesses we also have a responsibility to support the Government’s social-isolation policy. The closure of our shops supports this policy.”
While the Taoiseach’s advice has not specified that bookmakers must close their shops, BoyleSports’ decision was ‘taken after consultation with other Irish bookmakers, who are also expected to close their shops’.
Last week, Leo Varadkar imposed restrictions on large gatherings across Ireland in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Following the announcement, the Board of Horse Racing Ireland confirmed that all race meetings would be taking place behind closed doors until 29 March.
In line with the restrictions, HRI confirmed: “Race meetings will be closed to the public with recommended social distancing measures implemented on track; access will be restricted to essential service providers and industry participants; there will be no catering services, on course bookmakers or Tote services provided; and Racing will continue to be made available to broadcasters as at present.”