Ivan Yates: Not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth

Former Fine Gael TD, Ivan Yates, is chairman and managing director of Celtic Bookmakers, a chain of 64 betting shops around the country so I think it’s fair to say he’s a very rich man and all I can is – fair play to the man.

But you don’t get to be that successful in business without possessing great business acumen and Yates obviously has that in spades when it comes to promoting his business. His annual exploitation of the naivety of RTE and in particular Pat Kenny can only be described as pure business genius.

For the tiny sum of a €250 per day donation to charity Yates has managed to get himself a full, very valuable, ten minutes on the Today with Pat Kenny Show over the four day Cheltenham horse racing festival which must be one of the most lucrative racing events of the year for bookies.

I doubt there’s a businessman in the country who could afford to pay for such golden access to the airwaves if they were paying, by the minute, commercial advertising rates.

Even if Yates was to offer, say, €5,000 per day to charity over the four day period, he would still be getting very valuable airtime on the cheap, but at a mere €250 per day, it’s a giveaway.

Pat ended the piece (advertisement?) by thanking Yates for his generosity.

It’s likely the wily businessman was thinking to himself: ‘No Pat, thank you and RTE, very, very much for your generosity.’

Ivan Yates is certainly not a man to look a gift horse in the mouth.

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Pat Kenny
Ivan Yates