On 29 June, Irish bookmakers will reopen their doors as the country enters phase three of the government’s strategy to ease COVID-19 actions.
The confirmation follows a meeting of members of the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), which revealed that an agreement was reached to reopen 755 of the 814 betting shops across the nation.
In mid-March, Ireland closed its betting shops, for a period expected to last two weeks. The timing of the recent decision follows from assurance that racing may begin again early next month.
Although smaller retail outlets were allowed to open in phase two of the Government’s plan, the IBA announced that the reopening of betting will be postponed until the next phase.
We will ensure that policies relating to social distancing and sanitation are placed in place before shops are permitted to open.
IBA chief executive Sharon Byrne stated: “The top priority for our members is the health of their colleagues and customers. Our members are working to ensure robust safety protocols and procedures are in place to adequately protect staff and customers. Over the next number of weeks, we expect the public will have adjusted to the phased reopening of retail outlets in general.
“All our members will adhere to the detailed guidelines given to them by the IBA and by the Government. We are developing comprehensive procedures to guide our members in preparing their shops for reopening. We will also have an online training portal for retail staff, which is guided by the Government’s Return to Work Safely protocol.”
Betting shops can run with a small number of employees, allowing customers to only place bets, rather than continue watching races on in-store televisions.