Ladbrokes are a very significant employer and contributor to the Irish Exchequer, and have today announced that they have successfully applied to the High Court in Dublin to seek the appointment of an interim examiner and to be provided with the protection of the court under the examinership procedure for their Irish retail operation. It is a very worrying time for all of Ladbrokes staff in Ireland, and we hope the examiner will find a way to preserve as many of the jobs as possible.
Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the IBA commented “This is a significant event for retail betting in Ireland, which highlights the difficult trading environment betting shops are trying to survive in. With high fixed costs, rising media costs, unique tax on turnover, and international operators competing on mobile devices in every shop, traditional bookmaking is on its knees. Having a very large experienced operator in the retail betting industry such as Ladbrokes, and their years of experience and economies of scale unable to survive in its current form, it leaves little hope for smaller operators.”
Antiquated legislation, restrictions on trade, high rents, excessive taxation and rising media costs need to be addressed. The Irish Bookmakers Association will be presenting the Irish Government with a series of measures which are needed to protect thousands of jobs in the sector over the coming weeks.
The number of betting shops in Ireland has dropped from 1365 in 2008, to 884 in August 2015. Most of these being Independent operators, and each had employed approx 5 people. This has caused over 2500 jobs to be lost in Irish Betting shops, and with an effective taxation rate of over 100%, there will be many more lost.