Thursday, 15 August 2019

Irish Bookmaker BoyleSports To Buy Betting Shops Throughout UK


Irish bookmaker BoyleSports has shared plans to purchase betting shops throughout the United Kingdom.

The betting firm, which is based in Dundalk, recently bought five betting shops owned by competitor Mulholland Bookmakers, all of which were based in the Galway area of Ireland. The agreement will see the number of betting shops owned by BoyleSports rise to 260 in Ireland.

In June, BoyleSports acquired the Wilf Gilbert betting shop chain consisting of 13 shops. Reports suggest that the bookmaker has already completed rebranding the old shops and is now closing in on its second UK acquisition of an unnamed chain located around the Birmingham area. The purchase will reportedly complete within the coming weeks and will increase BoyleSports’ UK betting shops to 20.

Meanwhile, BoyleSports has agreed to a football shirt sponsorship with Birmingham City Football Club to promote its brand across the UK. BoyleSports had previously sponsored Sunderland FC when it was under Irish ownership, but the agreement came to an end in 2010 after three seasons.

It’s also been reported that BoyleSports is in talks with other bookmaker chains based in the UK as the company hopes to have around 100 betting shops operating in the UK within the next 12 months. The decision to branch out in the UK has been long in the making as the firm has seen its revenue for UK online operations rise in recent years.

Back in 2016, BoyleSports lost out on a bid to buy over 350 UK-based betting shops which were being sold off for the Ladbrokes and Coral merger. The Irish bookmaker lost the shops to betting firms Betfred and Stan James.

The UK And Irish Betting Market

The news comes after the Irish government doubled the tax on Irish betting firms’ turnovers to 2%, a move that is expected to force many independent betting chains to close. BoyleSports rival Paddy Power has already said it will be taking a €22 million (£20 million) hit to its earnings in 2018 due to the tax hike.

While the tax hike will undoubtedly affect the Irish bookmaker, the firm is hopeful about its growth opportunities in the UK and the rest of the world. BoyleSports also revealed that it’s looking towards launching online betting services in emerging markets such as Europe, Asia and parts of Africa.

The firm’s rivals, however, have been suffering recently in the UK after the UK government lowered the maximum stake limit on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2. Paddy Power, William Hill and other bookmakers all revealed revenue loss following the introduction of the rule and the firms have announced they may close hundreds of shops throughout the UK.

The news comes after a BBC Panorama investigation discovered that the number of complaints about betting firms have increased 5,000% since 2013. Meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission announced this month that it would be reviewing the licenses of seven bookmakers who allowed a minor to wager £5 on the Royal Ascot.