by Renee Israel
Leading Irish bookmaker Boylesports recently announced that it will separate
its land betting and online gambling businesses.
Boylesports operates 176 retail outlets in Ireland, while Boylesports.com
offers online sports betting and a number of other online gambling verticals
like poker, casino and bingo.
John Boyle, founder and group CEO, said that this radical restructuring and
creation of a new division for online gambling will enable Boylesports to
expand globally through Internet reach, called Boylesports
P.resent head of Boylesports online operations, Keith O'Loughlin, will take
over as chief executive of the newly launched Boylesports Online. Several
specific tasks have been placed on O'Loughlin's agenda, such as taking
Boylesports Online over to mobile gaming and other upcoming digital platforms.
Expansion of the operations through the introduction of new products will be
another area for O'Loughlin to work on.
Today, the Boylesports online poker room BoylePoker.com and online casino
BoyleCasino.com enjoy healthy brand equity. Building on this brand equity and
taking these online gambling portals to the next levels will also be on
O'Loughlin's plate. However, the biggest challenge before O'Loughlin will be to
make inroads into the Asian online gambling market because that is where the
future growth lies.
Boyle will continue to be in charge of the overall group. The new online
division will require large investments and these will be made. Boyle said that
this was an opportune time for the restructuring. "Our loyal shop customers in
Ireland are very important to us, but we also need to consider our customers,
and potential customers, in markets further a field. We feel we can best cater
to all by taking this action now."
Boylesports Expansion of Land Betting Operations
Over the last few months several new initiatives had been taken by
Boylesports for the development of its land betting business. In the last week
of February Boylesports announced that it would sponsor two races at the Thurles
racecourse. These are the €40,000 Michael Purcell Memorial Novice Hurdle and the
€23,000 Steeplechase. Both were sponsored by the online operations of
Boylesports. Boylesports already sponsors the Hurdle at Leopardstown and the
Tied Cottage at Punchestown.
Late last year Boylesports acquired the last of the William Hill betting
shops in Ireland, as William Hill wanted to focus on the Irish betting market
only through its online operations. Boylesports said that buying these retail
outlets rather than allowing them to shut down would save Irish jobs. Earlier
Boylesports had purchased 17 betting shops from Celtic Bookmakers.