Punters who have been missing out on horse racing during the lock down will have to wait an additional week, or possibly more, after racing returns next week, before being able to place a bet in a bookmakers.

From their Meath based head office, Tully bookmakers, with sixteen shops nationwide are one of Ireland’s largest independent bookies, and David Tully has revealed the reason for the delay in reopening.

He told Meath Live, ‘One of the main things that attract punters into shops is the live TV coverage provided by SIS, and they have said they will not be covering race meetings until bookies open in the UK as well as in Ireland.

‘As we understand it we qualify as a small retail outlet and as such are entitled to open our doors on June 8th, the problem is under their lock down rules shops in the UK cannot re open until June 15th, even though they are back racing on June 1st.

‘There are 10,000 betting offices in the UK and only 800 in Ireland so they feel it is not economically viable for them to service Ireland on its own.

‘Punters have become used to being able to walk into a bookies place a bet on the race and watch it on TV, without the TV service it doesn’t make financial sense to open.

‘I’ve been asked why we cannot put on Racing TV or At the Races in the shops instead and the simple answer is it is part of the terms and conditions of the agreement with SIS that we can’t do so.’