Wednesday, March 21, 2018

CMA Greenlights Ladbrokes Coral Takeover by GVC

Casino News Daily
CMA Greenlights Ladbrokes Coral Takeover by GVC

Gambling operators GVC Holdings and Ladbrokes Coral received a regulatory green light to complete their £4-million consolidation that could create a new gambling powerhouse within the field.

In a statement from earlier today, UK’s Competition and Markets Authority announced its decision to approve GVC’s proposed takeover of Ladbrokes Coral. The competition watchdog said that as GVC operates only in the online gambling field there would not be any competition complications once the transaction is completed.

GVC and Ladbrokes Coral announced that they have agreed to merge their operations last December. The two companies had suited each other on previous occasions but consolidation talks had fallen apart every time until last year.

The UK government is weeks or probably days away from announcing the extent to which it would crack down on the highly controversial fixed-odds betting terminals. Ladbrokes Coral currently operates the largest chain of betting shops with FOBTs across the UK and is expected to be hit particularly severely by the looming clampdown. The company itself was formed from the merger of two bookmakers – Ladbrokes and Coral – in the fall of 2016.

Concerned about the impact from the pending re-regulation of the UK’s retail gambling sector, Ladbrokes Coral has apparently decided to cement its position online by partnering a business with strong digital presence across the UK and other markets.

Now as the CMA has approved the GVC/Ladbrokes Coral tie-up, the transaction is expected to be completed in the first half of the year. The takeover price is yet to be determined, but GVC is set to pay between £3.2 billion and £3.9 billion for its fellow gambling operator, depending on the scope of the looming FOBTs crackdown.

GVC Holdings will own a 53.5% stake in the new entity, while Ladbrokes Coral will hold a 46.5% one. It is also important to note that once the deal is completed, Ladbrokes Coral will stop existing as a corporate entity and will be part of the GVC group along with the latter’s other gambling brands, including partypoker, Foxy Bingo, and bwin.

UKGC Recommends £30 Maximum Bet on FOBTs

The announcement about GVC’s regulatory approval to acquire Ladbrokes Coral comes just a few days after the UK Gambling Commission published its recommendation about the pending crackdown on FOBTs.

Gambling customers at betting shops can currently bet up to £100 every 20 seconds on the controversial gaming machines. Anti-gambling campaigners have long been calling for the maximum bet to be cut to £2.

Last October, the UK government confirmed that it would reduce the stake and that it would consider the impact of a cut to £50, £20, or £2 before making a final decision. The nation’s gambling regulator recommended earlier this week a reduction to £30, saying that the stake in itself does not “go far enough to protect vulnerable people” and that a comprehensive package of other measures should be introduced so that gambling customers are protected effectively.

The post CMA Greenlights Ladbrokes Coral Takeover by GVC appeared first on Casino News Daily.

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