Celtic Bookmakers goes bust

The betting chain run by former government minister Ivan Yates has gone bust today. A receiver’s been appointed and a lot of people will loose their jobs… now for the life of me I can’t understand why any bookie who’s expanding their business would do so without an online betting site part of their business.

It would be like setting up an airline - and expecting people to walk into a travel agents to book a seat. Madness…but why did nobody see it coming?

Already being discussed here >> thepropertypin.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=516&start=4155

surely worth a thread on it’s own?

Yates made a collossal mistake by not going online.

He was too cheap to invest in the only possible growth area if he’d had an online facility he’d have something worth selling, but in the current situation he’s fooked

I do some work in Irish retail and you’d be amazed the amount of established retailers that dont/wont understand the online model.

Not as simple as that, the betting margins are even tighter online and it does also require a significant investment (obviously when you achieve economies of scale it’s fine. I wonder how Boylesports are finding it without a significant UK presence);

I asked a friend in the industry who still bet in shops and and the answer was clear - people who simply don’t have credit/debit cards; the most profitable ones were near building sites - plenty of non declared disposable income back in the day - and of course SW recipients;

If betting is a hobby and helps you pass the day why wouldn’t you stroll down to the bukies and have a more social bet.

His old shops were probably holding their own; seems the expansion and purchase of other chains have sunk him

I’d agree. Caught his interview on NT this morning. He had looked at going online in 2005 but the cost came in at 10M with no guarantees.

I think many people underestimate the cost of taking a pre-existing business online. It’s not a matter of slapping a web page up and watching the money roll in. Your solution has to be as good, if not better, than the existing players. At that point it then comes down to who can spend the most on advertising to generate business without going bust.

If you have a unique selling point you can grow organically, if not, and you’re just copying others, it’s then simply a case of numbers. Do you have enough money to sustain the business to critical mass? I’d suggest that if Yates had taken the online gamble he’d probably have been wound up 12 months earlier owing 50M.

Personal guarantees are going to get him.

These seem to go against the ideas of
(a) limited liability companies
(b) due diligence by banks on their provision of capital
(c) banks’ interest rates on loans factoring in risk
(d) banks insuring their loan book.

Now that we own all the banks, and since we have a fantastic new regulator :confused:, this practice should be circumscribed.

(Not that we have any money to loan out, but anyway.)

Isn’t it funny how developers can take out massive loans, go bust and then submit business plans to NAMA containing nice salaries.

Meanwhile, out in the real business world, if you fail big time, you are fecked…

Maybe Ivans problem is that he didn’t leverage himself into property.

Maybe he did i.e. high rents and upward only rent reviews.

A personal guarantee is a great way for somebody else to do the due diligence. Yates was very foolish to stake his savings and properties on a large expansion gamble.

Agreed, he went all in instead of keeping chips in reserve. Very foolish indeed.

Personal guarantees seem immoral to me (in the same way that bondholders can lend at interest rates dictated by calculated risk, but are immune to this risk anyway).

Here’s something I found from the Business Post last year:

if there’s one lesson of the property bubble it’s that PGs are no substitute for due diligence - or bank conservatism

A broke bookies…

Only in Ireland…

I remember someone saying a few years ago that the choice of location for a lot of his shops was quite poor?

At least Yates has his ministerial pension to keep him in beans for a while… his NAMA maybe?

He should have listened as he said it himself this morning.

He was pretty open on Newstalk. The whole business plan had a very property developer feel to it. Borrow Build (and repeat to bust) vs borrow expand (and repeat to bust). On the face of it, if you believe what he says (€25,000 salary), they didn’t even take anything worthwhile out in the good times, let alone have to shore things up when the tide turned.

No wonder he was so against any reduction is his pension.


bank conservationism is what the tax payer is doing.

An Tacspaia.

Not sure that works.

I bet you it’s not…

I meant to write conservatism!

  • I guess conservationism in this context would mean not doing anything that would cause the extinction of that rare species the solvent Irish bank . Would have been nice too

I heard IY on Sean O’Rourke yesterday. O’Rourke was clearly not used to businessmen putting their hand up and taking responsibility. The best he could come up with was “What about the landlords left “High and dry”…?”

I reckon a lot of them will regret pushing them so hard - half a loaf etc.