William Hill have been bullish about how much business they anticipate over the four days of the Cheltenham Festival – £600m! – but for the small Irish bookmaker this could be a make-or-break week. The Irish Bookmakers Association [IBA] has revealed that 18 bookmakers on the Emerald Isle have been closed in as many months and the 1,130 shops competing for business in the country could soon fall to as few as 800. ‘‘There are a lot of shops that are just hanging on,” said IBA chairwoman Sharon Byrne. “I think we could face more carnage after Cheltenham,” she said. Read more.
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