boylesports logoBoyleSports, like a few other online betting companies of today, has been providing gambling options to avid bettors for several decades already. It was founded back in 1989, and since that time, it has grown to a considerable size, carving out its own place within the industry. As well as providing land-based establishments for betting purposes, it has entered into the online betting world, whilst providing telephone and mobile gambling alongside. Today, it serves as Ireland’s largest independent bookmaker, with over 320 branches in operation.

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An In-Depth Look at BoyleSports

boylesports shop sign close up

The BoyleSports brand was originally founded in 1989 by John Boyle after he lost his job as a bread delivery man, hence the name of the company. His first betting shop was opened that year in Markethill, Co. Armagh in Northern Ireland. A few years later, he had established the company properly and launched five outlets in Drogheda. The company continued on at the same level of activity, providing betting services to gamblers within the area. That’s how things proceeded for a long period of time.

It was only in 2002 that a further 14 new shops were opened by BoyleSports, and by August of 2004, there was a total of 77 betting shops being operated under the company’s name. It would be two years later that it launched its 100th store, having grown considerably from its early days as a sole betting shop under Boyle himself.

Ireland has been a primary focus for the BoyleSports brand throughout its years of activity, but it has also entered into the UK market alongside, and in more recent years tackled the international market as well. That being said, its headquarters remain based in the Republic of Ireland on the outskirts of Dundalk, straddling the border with Northern Ireland. A number of key acquisitions over the years have also helped BoyleSports to become as big as it is today, which we’ll get to shortly.

The company is licensed and regulated in Great Britain by the Gambling Commission, under account number 39469. Anyone else accessing the online site will be under the regulation of its Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner licence. The online website had been launched in the early 00s, with BoyleSports clearly being ahead of various other operators when getting involved in the online betting scene.

Not only that, but the company has been heavily involved in various sporting events across the UK and Ireland. Since 2010, the BoyleSports Champion Chase Day has been run annually at the Punchestown Festival, with prize money for the Grade 1 race increasing to €300,000 as of 2019. It also became the official headline sponsor of the most prestigious Irish race – the Irish Grand National.

A two-season deal was signed by BoyleSports with Birmingham City to become the EFL Championship team’s official sponsor in 2019. It also became the betting partner for the 2020/21 season and then onwards into the 2022 season with Wolverhampton Wanderers, and in 2020, it officially announced itself as the main sponsor of Coventry City, too.

It has also provided significant sponsorships in darts, greyhound racing, golf and more.

The former Republic of Ireland international footballer Kevin Kilbane entered into an agreement with BoyleSports as a Football Brand Ambassador in 2016, offering insights into upcoming football events for BoyleSports customers. Jockey Robbie “Puppy” Power joined the brand in 2016 too, as Horse Racing Ambassador. Former England and Liverpool football captain Steven Gerrard also signed on as a brand ambassador in 2021. Other previous ambassadors for the betting company include Stan Collymore, Joseph O’Brien and Gordon Elliott.

Acquisitions by BoyleSports

celtic bookmakers acquired by boylesports
John Grayson, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Throughout its years of operation, BoyleSports has secured itself various other companies and shares in brands. Doubtless, this has helped it to raise to the heights that it has reached today, with most of the acquisitions seeing the competition incorporated into and under BoyleSports. Take a look at some of the takeovers and acquisitions it has achieved below:

  • 2011 – In February, BoyleSports came into possession of 17 new betting shops from Celtic Bookmakers, saving 100 jobs in the process. In the same year, it acquired 15 more betting shops from William Hill, once again saving 65 jobs. This increased the total number of shops owned by BoyleSports to 176.
  • 2018 – The company buys JP Bookmakers, made up of six shops in Donegal, Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. All shops are rebranded as BoyleSports and given an update.
  • 2019 – BoyleSports enters into the UK market after acquiring independent bookmaker Wilf Gilbert, which was the owner of 13 sports betting shops in the Midlands. The sum of the takeover was not disclosed.
  • 2020 – The presence in Northern Ireland is expanded by BoyleSports acquiring 33 more William Hill shops for around €18 million. This makes it the largest retail bookmaker in Ireland.
  • 2020 – Six outlets are acquired from HughesBet in Dungannon, Coalisland and Newry. BoyleSports possesses 45 shops in Northern Ireland after this takeover.
  • 2021 – In November, the company announces an acquisition deal formed with Tully – another independent bookmaker. Through the deal, BoyleSports receives the telephone betting business of Tully as well as 10 retail establishments. This increased the number of BoyleSports bookmaker shops to 268 throughout Ireland.

Any Fines or Sanctions?

fine penalty notice illustrationBoyleSports may be the largest independent bookmaker in Ireland, but this hasn’t stopped it from coming away unscathed where fines, controversies and sanctions are concerned. There are a few reasons why these penalties have been imposed on the company, so take a look below at these instances.

  • 2012 – A controversy arose in 2012 regarding employees of BoyleSports being made to attend compulsory training courses held by Georgina Dolan. She was an associate of Tony Quinn, and the courses went on to promote the Educo Model, which was noted to be highly cult-like. This upset many employees who were forced into attending the training.
  • 2020 – BoyleSports is fined £2.8 million for its lack of appropriate money laundering risk assessment.

Financial Statistics

financial statistics concept

There is little doubt that BoyleSports is financially stable in general, considering it remains the largest independent bookmaker in Ireland, and also provides operations in the UK and overseas. Here are some details about the company’s financial status and other facts relating to it.

  • In the year ended December 27, 2020, it had an official turnover reported of £3 million, which was a massive increase on 2019, which stood at just £1.5 million in comparison.
  • The company currently employs more than 2,500 people across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Office Locations for BoyleSports

The primary headquarters for BoyleSports remains in the Republic of Ireland, just on the outskirts of Dundalk. It therefore sits pretty much on the border with Northern Ireland, reflecting its dedication to both parts of the island. It did also open a Marketing Operations centre in 2015, which can be found on the island of Gibraltar, where around 20 people are employed.