Tipperary Senator Denis Landy has called on the Minister for Justice and Equality to fast forward legislation that will extend the opening hours of betting offices across the country.
“At present bookies can only stay open late on Fridays during the winter. Current legislation only allows betting shops to remain open in the evenings during winter when racing is taking place in Ireland and this only occurs in Dundalk on Friday nights during the winter months. Those wishing to have a bet on English horse racing, dogs or football must go online. The extension of opening hours would provide permanency to current seasonal staff of which there are approximately six hundred nationwide. This is a win win situation for all involved and I am pressing the Minister to act quickly.
“The positive jobs announcement by Paddy Power on Thursday coincided with the visit on Wednesday of the Irish Bookmakers Association to lobby Oireachtas Members. We had a productive debate on the matter. They want the legislation on the opening hours of betting offices to be brought forward. I support their request and will be writing personally to the Minister for Justice and Equality to expedite the Betting (Amendment) Bill 2012” according to Senator Landy.
The betting shop industry is appealing to the Government for increased opening hours – until 9.30pm, six nights a week – from September to April. They claim that this will create up to six hundred full-time jobs because of extended trading hours.