Ladbrokes-Coral Owner GVC Plans To Shut Plans To Shut Hundreds Of Shops

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Ladbrokes-Coral business owner GVC is planning to shut down hundreds of shops over the next two years as a direct result of the UK’s decision earlier this year to cut the maximum stake for in-store betting machines from £ 100 to £ 2.

The move is expected to result in the closing of around a third of all UK betting shops-across all brands-and the loss of 12,000 jobs.

According to the Irish Examiner, betting shops in the Republic, where Ladbrokes runs nearly 140 stores, these machines-or fixed-odds betting terminals-do not feature. And, on the same basis as its UK holdings, the company’s shops in the North will be checked.

In August, for the first half of this year, Ladbrokes announced a 1% increase in net gaming revenue in its Irish operations. However, for Ladbrokes-Coral, Ireland was the weakest first-half performer; lagging 10% growth in the UK and even 12% growth in revenue seen in Belgium.

Four years ago, the Irish branch of Ladbrokes emerged from a review process with 60 shops lighter and 250 fewer employees.

In its latest trading update, covering the third quarter, GVC said net gaming revenue fell on a year-on-year basis in its European Retail division–of which Ireland is a major part. Total team revenue fell by 1%.

As a contingency measure against a no-deal Brexit, GVC moved some of its online bingo, gambling and gaming-friendly computer servers to Dublin earlier this year.

As a joint venture cashed in on a booming online sports betting market in the US, GVC also increased its annual core earnings outlook for the second time in three months.

The group, which has a joint venture with U.S. hotel and casino operator MGM Resorts International, said they have had a good start with their mobile BetMGM app launched in New Jersey in September.

The business now predicts full-year core earnings ranging from £ 670 m to £ 680 m (€ 745m-€756 m), as UK betting shops have suffered less than anticipated from tighter regulation and online gambling revenue grew.

With companies such as GVC, which also operates the Foxy Bingo brand, foreign markets have been a blessing as more US states allow legal online betting and other countries offer more relaxed gambling laws than in Britain. GVC said a further 41 shops were shut down in Britain’s half.

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