Cameron Murphy26.02.2017

Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker, Boylesports, has announced that it is planning to spend €250,000 rebranding the nine betting shops it recently acquired from rival Bambury Bookmakers, ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

The bookmaker, which now owns 215 betting shops in the Republic of Ireland and three in Northern Ireland, has been approved by the competition watchdog to rebrand and refurbish the new shops within the next two weeks.

“There are 850 LBOs [Licensed Bookmaker Outlets] active in the State in 2016,” read the published approval from the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission.

“While Boylesports operated approximated 24pc of the total number of active LBOs in the State in 2016, the target businesses represented only 1pc of the total number of LBOs active in the State in 2016.”

“Thus, on a national level, the increase in Boylesports’ share of the potential market for the provision of betting services in LBOs as a result of the proposed transaction will be very small.”

Within the highly competitive Irish betting market, Paddy Power Betfair controls approximately 40 percent of the market share with 252 retail betting shops. Boylesports follows holding around 25 percent of the market share with 215 betting shops and Ladbrokes controls around 13 percent of the market share with 142 betting shops. The remainder of the market is made up of smaller bookmakers and independent operators, including Tully Bookmakers, Bruce Betting, Sean Graham and The Track.

The Cheltenham Festival, one of the most lucrative horse racing events in the Irish calendar, will take place this year from March 14th to 17th. Boylesports plans to be ready for this big event across all channels, including via its online gaming websites, phone betting services and its retail betting shops.