Featured in this article:
  • BoyleSports could look to sell for millions of dollars
  • New Irish gambling regulation could impact on revenues
  • Could Entain help BoyleSports' expansion into the United States?

3 Minute Read

The sale of BoyleSports could help the Irish betting brand move into America

Irish sports betting brand BoyleSports is reportedly in discussions over a sale of its assets to an unknown, bigger gambling firm – but we’re unlikely to see the last of this iconic brand.

BoyleSports has traded for the past 40 years and is now one of the most recognisable betting brands on European high streets, and in the online sports wagering world.

It is Ireland’s second-largest betting group with 350 betting shops and a 3,500-strong workforce.

According to the Independent, its owners are in talks over a deal that could offload all its assets onto another gambling company.

There is rumor that Entain – the betting giant that owns Ladbrokes, Coral, bwin and a 50% stake in BetMGM – is leading the race to buy BoyleSports.

Yet whoever picks up BoyleSports, it’s expected that customers will see more, not less, of this brand in years to come.

BoyleSports

BoyleSports has a presence in the UK and Ireland, and could potentially be a big hit in America and Canada

Why Is BoyleSports Potentially Selling?

BoyleSports has performed well in the European sports betting market over the past two decades, as online wagering has steadily taken priority over land-based activity. The brand – second only behind Paddy Power for popularity in Ireland – has highstreet stores all over the UK and Ireland, and has so far held off from being acquired by a bigger firm.

This could all soon change with rumors that Entain may be interested in the “sales process”.

The reason for the supposed sale is down to Ireland’s upcoming shake-up of its online gambling laws, which may introduce more red tape into the market.

The Gambling Regulation Bill is currently being discussed in the Dáil, and is expected to be finalized this fall. In all likelihood a new levee will be placed on Irish gambling firms to pay into a “social impact fund” that helps combat problem gambling.

It is claimed the Irish gambling industry could suffer revenue falls of between 10% and 16% off the back of the new legislation.

BoyleSports is profitable. According to the Irish Times, it made an estimated $1.36bn (€1.4bn) in turnover last year. But its board has perhaps been spooked by the changes coming to Ireland’s gambling industry.

Will Entain Buy BoyleSports?

And all eyes appear to be looking at Entain (ENT) as the most likely buyer. The firm is seeking to muscle in to Ireland and rival Flutter Entertainment’s Paddy Power brand. It is also likely open to maintaining BoyleSports’ expansion plans into Kenya and South Africa by the end of 2023, and further expansion into Canada.

And there is a high likelihood that Entain’s expertise and network would give BoyleSports the boost it needs to move into the US sports betting market.

Right now Entain’s largest presence in America is with its deal with MGM to run the BetMGM sports betting app and online platform in a number of states. The platform has proved expensive to run, but is beginning to yield returns.

BoyleSports was also interested in buying the European operations of William Hill last year, after Caesars Entertainment bought the historic British bookmaker, hoovered up its US operators, and sought to offload the European arm of the company back to Britain.

It didn’t work, as 888 instead paid an estimated $2.25bn to seal the deal.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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