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John Boyle plans to expand in Britain

John Boyle, founder, owner and chief executive of Irish independent bookmaker Boylesports, has revealed that he is planning to expand the business in Britain after enjoying considerable success in Ireland.

According to the Irish Times newspaper, Boylesports records a turnover of €1 billion ($1.4 billion) per year, an amount that has almost doubled from just over €500 million in 2006.

In addition, the firm now boasts 192 betting shops in Ireland, with around 50 of these stores having been added during the last three years through the acquisition of shops from rival companies.

As reported by iGaming Business, the most recent of these acquisitions came in November last year when Boylesports purchased Tom Flood Bookmakers and its seven outlets.

Boylesports has also acquired Irish shops vacated by UK bookmaker William Hill and Irish betting firm Celtic Bookmakers, the latter of which fell victim to the recession.

Boyle said that the recession presented him and his company with an ‘opportunity’ for expansion in Ireland and now plans to use this enhanced presence to build further.

“What appeared for us was opportunity, and if you want to know is there going to be the same opportunity in the next five years, definitely,” he said. “We could easily manage 250 stores in Ireland, because there are lots of areas that we are not in.”

Although Boylesports has already established an online and mobile customer base in the British market, he is now keen to build up a bricks and mortar, land-based operation too.

“We’ve looked in the past, the time that the Tote wanted to sell, that’s going back to 2006, 2007,” he said.

“We were showing interest then in buying their stores, but then the recession arrived and the British government, who owned them, they took them off the market, because they were only going to get half the value. At that time we were very keen and I had spent a good few months over there in preparation for that.

“So if the right acquisition knocked on our door, we’re looking for opportunities over there, so we expect in the next five years to have a presence in retail.

“You don’t know what opportunities are going to knock on your door. There’s three, four, different companies that could become available over the next number of years, and if you can show that you are good at retail in Ireland, you can do it anywhere in the world.”