BoyleSports has strengthened their retail presence by completing the purchase of the remaining 10 shops owned by Independent Irish bookmaker Tully.
The deal consolidates BoyleSports’ place as the biggest bookmaker in Ireland, taking their total to 268 retail betting shops throughout both the Republic and Northern Ireland. It will also see them take on Tully’s telephone betting business, expanding their services even further.
They have been extremely active when it comes to adding to their retail portfolio of late, having shown interest in acquiring William Hill’s retail units before they were beaten to it by 888 Holdings. However, they are still believed to be interested in their UK units to increase their presence across the North Channel.
Sharon Byrne, Chairperson of the Irish Bookmakers Association (IBA), said the completion of the deal highlighted how difficult it is for smaller independent chains in the current climate since the pandemic.
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Byrne said: “It’s a sign of how difficult it is for the smaller operators out there who are trying to survive. I wish BoyleSports well with their new shops.
“It’s very difficult for the smaller operators and consumer confidence just hasn’t come back yet since COVID. Placing bets and then leaving is the new normal. People aren’t ready to be hanging around the shops.”
Tully Bookmakers previously had 37 shops at their peak, but began to trim down their operations in 2015 when they sold an initial 10 shops to BoyleSports. The company’s failing profits has been the catalyst for them to jump out now, while owner Paul Tully cited a lack of interest in continuing with the business.
“It comes with mixed emotions but the final chapter has been written,” said Tully. “I thought it was time to get out. Neither myself nor my brother has any family interested in carrying on in the business, so we decided to take the plunge and jump.”