Markethill-founded BoyleSports acquires 33 William Hill outlets across Northern Ireland

Markethill-founded betting chain BoyleSports has secured a major expansion deal to its family of shops.

The acquisition of 33 William Hill betting shops means BoyleSports will own 39 retail outlets in Northern Ireland and a total of 298 betting shops on the island.

BoyleSports will also be acquiring the two William Hill betting shops operating in the Isle of Man.

During 2019, William Hill US made a string of high profile announcements, including becoming the first arena sportsbook operator in a deal with Monumental Sports & Entertainment. Bruce has previously warned about the implications of the increased betting tax. The gambling operator used to rely heavily on revenue from its retail operations, but was seeking to improve its digital arm's performance and expand its regulated U.S. sports betting presence to offset the losses it has and would suffer from the clampdown of FOBTs.

"This acquisition complements our existing retail network in Northern Ireland and our retail network in the Republic of Ireland, while also representing a significant step in our long-stated ambition to develop our retail footprint across the United Kingdom".

The acquisition takes immediate effect, but BoyleSports will only take operational control in 30 days to allow it to engage fully with its 220 new employees.

The Irish brand's United Kingdom expansion began in 2019 when it purchased a small network of independent sportsbooks in the English Midlands.

Conor Gray, chief executive of BoyleSports, used news of the acquisition to criticise the Irish Government's decision in Budget 2019 in increase betting tax.

Operating profits for the year are estimated to have been between £143m ($186m) and £148m ($192m).

William Hill said that its United Kingdom retail business performed ahead of expectations, despite last year's crackdown on one of the highest grossing products offered in the local market. The British government last spring reduced the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2 from £100 as part of a larger campaign against the proliferation of gambling in the nation.

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