Whilst all UK bookmakers undertake major adjustments to their retail portfolios in 2019, countering FOBTs reduction impacts, Irish bookmaker Boylesports is reported to be preparing for its UK highstreet debut.
The Irish Examiner reports that Dundalk-based Boylesports, Ireland’s second largest retail bookmaker is the final stages of acquiring a number of independent bookmakers located in northern Britain.
Ever since 2014, Boylesports has mulled competing against UK legacy bookmakers within the crowded retail betting scene, with John Boyle Founder and former Chief Executive of the firm, stating that the bookmaker had reached its ‘peak operating capacity in Ireland’.
In 2016, John Boyle launched a £100 million bid to acquire Ladbrokes-Coral’s 350 betting shop ‘merger off-cuts’ which were forced for sale by the UK Competitions & Markets Authority (CMA).
Boyle’s 2016 attempt to enter the UK market, would be dashed by established incumbents Betfred and Stan James, who won the CMA bids to takeover Ladbrokes Coral merger betting shop offloads.
Now led by Conor Gray (CEO), Boylesports is reported to acquiring approximately 100 independent bookmakers, seeking to establish an initial northern UK presence.
The Dundalk enterprise chooses to make its UK debut, in what analysts firmly believe will be a year of rupture for all UK retail betting incumbents, as the government approved FOBTs £2 stake reduction comes into effect in April 2019.
Undaunted by the tough UK prospects, Boylesports executives’ detail that the company will deliver a comprehensive betting solution in 2019, in which its new UK retail network enhances its established UK digital presence, boosting future corporate growth.