Tributes paid to Dewsbury bookmaking legend George Carrigill

Betting industry tributes have been paid to bookmaker George Carrigill, who passed away last Thursday following a short illness.

Aged 84, Carrigill was the founder of Dewsbury (West Yorkshire) based independent bookmaker Carrigill’s Betting Centres’, a business he had first started in 1954 with the £300 his father had left him.

Carrigill was one of the first UK businessmen to open a licensed betting premises in 1961, following the introduction of the ‘1960 Betting & Gaming Act’ which allowed for commercial betting and bingo properties to operate as ‘private member’ establishments.

At the height of his business’ success, Carrigill would operate nine Carrigill Betting Centres around the Yorkshire county area during the 1980s.

However, as cost and competition increased within the UK retail betting sector, Carrigill was forced to downsize his firm’s operations and today there are only six shops remaining carrying the Carrigill name.

A positive and thoughtful character, Carrigill told local media that he could never retire from betting as ‘The job is my hobby and my hobby is my job. I just love the involvement in it.”

Carrigill leaves two sons Bill and Paul, daughter Fiona, and seven grandchildren.

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