Published: 09:42 04/11/2011
Dundalk based Boylesports currently operates 161 shops as well as telephone and internet betting . The move is expected to complete around mid December and guarantees the jobs of 65 William Hill staff that otherwise may have been under threat .
Boylesports will pay around 1.5M euros for the shops and founder John Boyle revealed "I thought they would be a good fit and I got a very good deal from William Hill. There are ten outlets in Dublin which really strengthens our company."
Earlier this year Boylesports acquired 17 shops from failed independent Celtic bookmakers and Boyle commented that these well located shops had integrated well into the estate " Business is going extremely well for Boylesports..the Celtic outlets are all part of the family now and have bedded in very well into the organisation".
Boylesport's shops are generally very well fitted out , in busy locations and benefit from extensive use of the latest betting shop technology . In contrast both the Celtic bookmakers estate and the William Hill irish estate had suffered from years of under investment and neglect .
Irish betting shop operators are anxiously awaiting the December 6 budget to see if retail betting duty will remain at the current rate of 1 percent of stakes or whether it will be replaced with a gross profits tax as part of a previously announced shake up of tax and regulation that will bring online operators, including exchanges, into the exchequer’s remit.
Boylesports operate a large telephone and internet betting operation and in line with other online bookmakers offer free bets as incentives to new online accounts .
William Hill originally had 50 shops in the Republic Of Ireland which it acquired as part of a larger deal to buy 624 shops from Stanley Leisure in 2005 .
It closed 20 of those shops in December last year and the future of the remaining estate has been the subject of much speculation since.
William Hill is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has over 2300 shops in Britain .It is understood it did not consider it viable to maintain just 15 outlets in the Republic.
William Hill is one of the largest online betting operators in the UK and earlier this year launched www.williamhill.ie which the statement issued by the group yesterday said it would maintain this.
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