Boylesports seeks UK move in early 2019

Bookie making UK brick and mortar move


Irish bookmaker Boylesports are apparently close to landing the acquisition of a chain of UK bookmakers. Who that is remains a secret at the moment but by all reports, it is likely that the deal will be closed during the first quarter of 2019.

Boylesports have reportedly been in talks with a number of independent British bookmaker chains with a look at expansion out of Ireland. They are looking to get around 100 retail shops in the UK but are supposedly looking at more regional options than focusing on London.

The operator has a very strong UK online presence and have been strong with their revenue growth. They have been looking to feed off that positive identity which they have, by getting into brick and mortar stores across the UK.

Back in 2016, they failed in a bid (Stan James and Betfred) to get over 350 UK stores which were up for grabs because of the merger between Ladbrokes and Coral. Competition rules meant that that particular merger could only proceed with selling off some high-street stores.

A lot of the current big players in the UK market, the likes of Ladbrokes-Coral, William Hill and Paddy Power-Betfair have been directing their attention elsewhere. The US market is starting to open up and that is prime stuff for them all to have a look at.

Regulations in the UK have started to tighten and with tax rules and new maximum stake limits, UK operators could be feeling the pinch. Paddy Power and William Hill have already cited concerns over brick and mortar location losses because of that.

The new Fixed Odds Betting Terminal limits will come into place next April, which restricts stakes to £2 (from £100). In Ireland, there are betting changes coming as well with the new gambling tax being introduced on January 1st, 2019 which doubles from 1% to 2%.

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