BoyleSports to spend €250k on shop rebranding
Betting chain BoyleSports is spending €250,000 on rebranding the nine shops it bought from rival Bambury Bookmakers in time for the Cheltenham festival, one of the most lucrative events in the sporting calendar.
The independent bookie, which now controls one-in-four betting shops in Ireland after its deal with rival Bambury was approved by the competition watchdog, aims to have the shops rebranded and refurbished within a fortnight.
Led by Co Armagh's richest man, John Boyle, BoyleSports now owns 215 shops in the Republic and three in the North. It also owns popular gaming websites and phone betting services.
The newly-acquired shops are located in Dublin, Meath and Kildare.
In granting approval for the deal, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission stated in its recently published determination: "There are 855 LBOs [Licensed Bookmaker Outlets] active in the State in 2016.
"While BoyleSports operated approximately 24pc of the total number of active LBOs in the State in 2016, the target businesses represented only 1pc of the total number of LBOs active in the State in 2016.
"Thus, on a national level, the increase in BoyleSports' share of the potential market for the provision of betting services in LBOs as a result of the proposed transaction will be very small."
With a 30-year track record in business, BoyleSports has shown a major appetite to grow market share in Ireland and the UK in recent years.
In 2015, the firm made an offer to buy 300 UK bookie shops following the multi-million pound merger between Ladbrokes and Gala Coral.
Before the planned merger deal was approved, the two firms had to sell hundreds of shops in order to satisfy the Competition Commission in the UK. BoyleSports lost out to rivals Betfred and Stan James, however.
In the fiercely competitive Irish betting market, Paddy Power Betfair has about 40pc of market share with 252 shops.
BoyleSports now controls 25pc of the market with 215 shops.
Ladbrokes has about 13pc with 142 shops.
The rest of the market is comprised of smaller players such as Tully Bookmakers, The Track, Sean Graham and Bruce Betting, in addition to a mix of independent operators.
Sunday Indo Business