Garda Inspector Michael Harrison told Letterkenny District Court that gardai observed customers entering and leaving McBride Racing in the town on April 20 last year.
Owner Thomas McBride, Kingsfort Park, Culmore, Derry, admitted a charge of breaching betting laws.
His solicitor Ciaran McLaughlin said the 74-year-old had no previous convictions and new legislation introduced in January past now allows betting on Easter Sundays at bookies.
“Unfortunately my client jumped the flag on this one,” said Mr McLaughlin (a Buncrana man and Donegal fan).
He pointed out that the maximum fine under 1931 legislation was 50 punts (or €60) and his client would be glad to make a charitable donation to avoid a conviction.
“I’m told there is a horse running later today at Cheltenham called Girly Girl and perhaps a wager on that could help a charity. It’s 5/1,” said Mr McLaughlin.
Judge Paul Kelly shook head, remarking that he wasn’t a gambling man.
The judge asked if Mr McBride would be willing to make a €100 donation to the Donegal U14 football team instead of recording a conviction.
The bookmaker replied: “I’d be delighted to.”
(Girly Girl finished 3rd in the 5.30pm race at Cheltenham. Those in court who took a note of the horse’s name may well be out of pocket).