GVC and William Hill Eye £350m Tax Rebate After Betfred Court Victory

By Martin Green24 May 2020
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William Hill and Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC expect to receive a £350 million tax rebate after overpaying on FOBT terminals between 2005 and 2013. Rival bookmaker Betfred and Mecca bingo owner Rank brought a case against the government, arguing they should not have paid tax on revenue from the machines. Online operators were not charged a sales tax on similar games, so Betfred and Mecca claimed this was unfair. A judge ruled in their favour, and the UK government has decided not to appeal. It opens the door for William Hill to claim back £150 million and for GVC to claim back £200 million. Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment could also be in line for a refund. The government recently forced bookmakers to reduce the maximum stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2 in a bid to curb problem gambling. Shares in GVC and William Hill jumped after news broke of the pending rebates.

GVC Holdings has completed the migration of all Ladbrokes Coral brands onto its proprietary technology platform. It bought Ladbrokes Coral in March 2018, meaning it now owns Ladbrokes, Coral, Gala Bingo, Gala Casino and Gala Spins. GVC has now moved all 25 million player accounts onto its own platform. “The GVC integration model has proved itself time and again to be extremely effective at integrating large-scale operations with minimal disruption to our underlying business,” said chief operating officer Shay Segev. “As a result, we are confident in our ability to take advantage of the attractive M&A opportunities which we believe will present themselves to us in the future while further boosting the growth of our existing business. It is a great testament to the sophistication of our technology and the quality of our teams, and it is particularly impressive that they have managed to finalise it during this period of remote working. It also positions the business even better to emerge from the current crisis from a position of strength.”

Bet365 has expanded into Colorado after tying up a 10-year deal to operate on the licence of Century Casinos Inc. The world’s largest online sports betting company launched in New Jersey last year, and now it is ramping up its US expansion by muscling into Colorado. It will operate an online sportsbook and mobile app under the Bet365 brand. The Stoke-based firm will have to take on Flutter Entertainment’s FanDuel brand and DraftKings, along with William Hill, which launches in Colorado in September. It should prove to be a fascinating battleground, and give an indication of which operator has the best chance of becoming the long-term market leader in the lucrative US market.

Borussia Dortmund host Bayern Munich on Tuesday in a game that could decide the title race. Both teams have secured back-to-back victories since the season resumed this month, leaving them comfortably occupying the top two positions in the table. Bayern have a four-point lead over their rivals, but Dortmund could cut it to a single point if they win this game. Bayern are in terrific form, and they have been installed as the clear favourites to secure victory. Paddy Power will give you a refund in cash up to £10 on all markets if Bayern win the game as part of a promotion for new and existing customers. If you do not have an account, you can also take advantage of Paddy Power’s risk free £20 bet sign-up deal, which gives you a refund in cash of up to £20 on your first bet if it is unsuccessful.