BoyleSports to Purchase Final 10 Tully Bookmakers Shops

Posted on: November 24, 2021, 02:35h. 

Last updated on: November 24, 2021, 01:03h.

Tully Bookmakers’ time in Ireland has run its course. The sports betting company has sold the last 10 sports betting shops in the country to BoyleSports, according to Racing Post.

Tully Bookmakers
A Tully Bookmakers shop, seen above, will now be owned by BoyleSports. (Image: Markus Spring)

Tully Bookmakers was one of the original sportsbook names in Ireland. But all good things must come to an end.

The company began selling some of its shops in 2015, as the market began to change. From an initial 37, it reduced its footprint by 10 through a deal with BoyleSports that year.

“It comes with mixed emotions, but the final chapter has been written. I thought it was time to get out. Neither myself nor my brother has any family interested in carrying on in the business, so we decided to take the plunge and jump,” Tully Bookmakers owner Paul Tully stated.

The shop was been in business for 44 years. It was opened in 1975 by the current owner’s father.

Tully’s Hit by Tax Increase, COVID-19

Since 2015, Tully suffered several losses. The company took a hit in 2018 after the country introduced a new betting tax.

At the time, the betting duty, calculated on turnover, increased from 1% to 2%. Tully asserted that the net profit margin was only around 1% and that the increase would result in losses. The company warned that it might be forced to close 18 shops because of the tax increase

With the extra 1pc of tax, it’s going to make us totally unviable,” Tully told the Irish Independent in 2018. “This will wipe out 90pc of the independents.”

The company suffered a second blow after the COVID pandemic forced sportsbooks to close throughout the country. All land-based sportsbooks were closed from the middle of March until almost the end of June last year, except for a brief reopening when it seemed like the pandemic was under control.

BoyleSports Grows its Footprint

BoyleSports was already a large independent sports betting operator in Ireland before its latest acquisition.

However, now with 286 shops across the country, it is the undisputed champion. Racing Post spoke with an unidentified person, who said that the operator will “invest significantly in each of the ten shops to allow them to compete in the current market.”

While the purchase didn’t come as a big surprise, it is still a bitter pill to swallow for some.

“It’s a sign of how difficult it is for the smaller operators out there who are trying to survive,” Irish Bookmakers Association Chair Sharon Byrne stated. “It’s very difficult for the smaller operators, and consumer confidence just hasn’t come back yet since [COVID-19]. Placing bets and then leaving is the new normal.”