The Wexford-based couple own Celtic Bookmakers, which became so much a part of Yates’ working life that he decided to quit the hurly burly of politics in 2002 to concentrate on expanding the operation. The dedication has paid off.
At the time he stood down from office, Celtic Bookmakers had less than 20 stores and was predicting turnover that year of €25m.
Founded in 1987, today it operates over 50 outlets and has also put a toe in the
In August he paid over €2.5m to buy eight Ubet shops in
But it’s a tough business out there with lots of competition. Yates obviously believes he has to expand rapidly to stay in the running.
Two months ago British giant Ladbrokes said it would open an additional 80 outlets in
Yates is also up against Paddy Power, which operates over 200 shops in
British bookmaker William Hill also has a decent footprint in the Republic, which all leaves you wondering who the casualties are going to be. Smaller, independent players, certainly.
Interestingly, among those last week seeking to renew licences for William Hill stores in