Belfast Telegraph

BoyleSports buys English bookmaker Wilf Gilbert

Conor Gray
Conor Gray

By Michael Cogley

Irish betting chain BoyleSports, which started out in Co Armagh in 1982, has entered the market in Great Britain with the acquisition of 13 stores.

The company has acquired Midlands independent bookie Wilf Gilbert for an undisclosed sum. The deal gives BoyleSports instant access to a network with the UK and it intends on completing further acquisitions that will bring its overall count to 100 shops within 12 months.

Founded in Markethill, BoyleSports is now based in Co Louth.

It's understood to be in negotiations with a number of other UK bookmaker chains and has invited other regional firms interested in a sale to make contact. The Wilf Gilbert deal follows on from the recently secured gaming license it received from the UK authorities.

Chief executive Conor Gray said the acquisition has realised the company's "long-term goal" to bring retail betting to the UK market.

"Of course our ambition does not end with this group of shops. We are looking for other opportunities to grow our estate and hope to add more shops over the summer months and beyond," he added.

"The fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT) stake-reduction legislation will radically change the UK's retail betting environment.

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"As a company that has never operated FOBTs we hope to help drive that change by transforming each shop into world-class betting lounges with a wide variety of betting available on state-of-the-art screens and interactive terminals, with comfortable furniture, free refreshments and access to free wifi, that will provide a safe, regulated and an enjoyable experience for both existing and new UK betting customers."

Belfast Telegraph

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