UK retail move for Irish bookmaker Boylesports19th December 2018 / lee
One of Ireland’s big-three bookmakers (Ladbrokes and Paddy Power), Boylesports are looking to secure retail property in the UK during the first quarter of 2019. According to reports they are close to landing the acquisition of a chain of UK bookmakers (unnamed).
Boylesports have been keen to get into the UK retail market and have been in talks with different independent bookmakers in terms of an acquisition. Their apparent goal is to get around 100 retail shops in the UK but are supposedly looking at more regional options than focusing on the highly competitive London area.
The operator, who holds a UK Gaming license has a strong presence and identity in the UK. In order to drive the business forward, it has 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 lost out to Betfred when retails stores because available because of the Ladbrokes and Coral merger. Competition rules meant that they had to sell off retail locations so that the merger didn’t give them a monopoly. But Boylesports failed with their bid for over 350 UK stores.
Ireland will have new regulations starting on the first day of 2019. The gambling tax is being doubled from 1% to 2% and Boylesports have already warned that the Irish retail division could see job losses and store closures.
There are changes coming in the UK scene as well though. The new Fixed Odds Betting Terminal limits will come into place next April, which restricts stakes to £2 (from £100). Paddy Power and William Hill have already cited concerns over brick and mortar location losses because of that.
Some of the major UK players, 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.
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