Seán Quinn funding online betting firm from his own resources
Former billionaire will not be involved in its running, but some of his family are directors
It is the first new business in which Sean Quinn snr has invested since he emerged from bankruptcy more than two years ago. Photograph: Collins
Former billionaire Seán Quinn is funding the new online betting business run by some of his family from his own resources, the company said on Friday.
Mr Quinn’s son Seán Quinn jnr and other family members this week launched Quinnbet, an online sports betting business, which his father is backing.
The company said on Friday that the costs of starting the new business were significant, although it did not give a figure, and confirmed that Mr Quinn snr “has funded the operation himself”.
It is the first new business in which Mr Quinn snr has invested since he emerged from bankruptcy more than two years ago. He owns Quinnbet outright.
The directors, including Mr Quinn jnr, his brother-in-law Stephen Kelly and Seamus McMahon, were not involved in funding the betting business.
The company also confirmed that Mr Quinn jnr, Mr Kelly and Mr McMahon have received certificates of personal fitness to run a bookmaking business.
A law passed in 2015 to shake up betting regulations requires that all officers of companies licensed as bookmakers should have these certificates.
If an online business is based in the Republic, these certificate can be issued by an Garda Síochána and where the business is located outside the jurisdiction, they can be issued by the Minister for Justice.
While Mr Quinn snr owns the business, his son, who is its chief executive, told Shannonside Radio on Friday that he will not be involved in its running.
However, he made it clear that he and his colleagues would be seeking advice from Mr Quinn snr. “Absolutely we will be calling on his expertise,” he said.
He also told presenter Joe Finnegan that the company intended to move its headquarters to Cavan. It now employs six people full-time with some part-timers.
Unlike most in its sector, the company is not planning to promote its business with a heavy marketing spend. Instead, it says that it will compete by focusing on giving punters value and high-quality service.
The company says that it will offer thousands of markets on sports including racing, Gaelic games, soccer, tennis and other events.
Quinnbet’s partner, British company FSB Technology, will hold punters’ funds in a dedicated account with Barclay’s Bank, which UK law requires.
The UK’s Gambling Commission regulates and licenses the London-based business.
FSB is Quinnbet’s website designer, provides its software and does its odds-making. This type of partnership is common in the industry.
Both Mr Quinn snr and his son served prison terms for contempt of court in 2012 arising out of an action taken by the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation against members of their family.
The litigation has been stalled but is ongoing. The case arose out of the failure of the Quinn Group, whose businesses spanned cement production, glass-making, insurance and property.