Saturday 17 March 2018

Sean Quinn bets on gambling as he returns to business

Sean Quinn
Sean Quinn
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

The distinctive 'Q' branding is the main clue to the involvement of controversial businessman Seán Quinn Snr in a new online gambling venture that launched last night.

It is his first significant commercial venture since the dramatic fall of Quinn Group and his own subsequent bankruptcy. After emerging from bankruptcy in 2015, Mr Quinn is now free to go back into business.

The QuinnBet website and app offers gambling across a range of sports, including horse and greyhound racing, soccer and GAA. The company describes itself as Ireland's and the UK's newest online sports book provider, with an online casino set to launch in the coming weeks.

The website bears the distinctive 'Q' branding that was once seen across the former Quinn empire.

A spokesman confirmed that the business is wholly owned by Seán Quinn Snr, but said it would be run by his son, Seán Quinn Jnr, and other family members. Filings with the company's office list Seán Quinn Jnr, his brother-in-law Seán Kelly and Cavan businessman Séamus McMahon, of Kilconny, Belturbet, as directors.

Seán Quinn Snr was once Ireland's richest man, with an extensive industrial business involved in glass and aggregates.

Sean Quinn Jnr
Sean Quinn Jnr

However, he and his family lost control of the business and Mr Quinn was eventually bankrupted following a series of massive failed bets on the stock market, in particular on shares in Anglo Irish Bank made using complex contracts for difference that resulted in massive debts.

The unravelling of the Anglo stake and of the Quinn Group has been played out through the courts for almost a decade.

In 2012, both Seán Quinn Snr and Jnr were jailed for contempt, after failing to comply with court orders to reverse measures stripping multi-million euro assets from their former international property group. Seán Quinn Jnr subsequently purged his contempt by paying a sum of money.

QuinnBet's website has been built by FSB, a UK company licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission that provides online betting infrastructure to a number of brands as a so-called 'white label' service. QuinnBet said it is licensed in Ireland under the Betting (Amendment) Act 2015.

Irish Independent

Business Newsletter

Read the leading stories from the world of Business.

Also in Business