A strong online performance allowed Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC to report 3% pro-forma net revenue growth in 2019. The firm’s retail business saw wagers increase 3%, which is a robust performance in the context of a struggling market. Rivals like William Hill have seen retail handle dwindle following the British government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals from £100 to £2. Net gaming revenue on machines fell 28%, but sports NGR increased 3%. GVC’s online business took £11.2bn in sports wagers, up 11% year on year. NGR for the online division rose 14%. “Online once again delivered the stand-out performance, with proforma NGR growing 13% to £2,170.7m,” said chief executive Kenny Alexander. “The group achieved double-digit pro-forma NGR growth across all of its core online markets and continued to grow share.” Underlying operating profit fell 20% to £490.1 million, largely related to a payment as part of its Ladbrokes Coral acquisition, sparking an initial 4.6% dip in its share price.
Los Angeles investment firm Capital Group has built up a €1.1 billion stake in Paddy Power Betfair owner Flutter Entertainment. Last week the London-listed gambling firm revealed its 2019 financials. Profit before tax decreased 38% year-on-year to £136 million. That came despite a 14% increase in revenue to £2.14 billion. Flutter has built up a market leading position in several lucrative US states through its FanDuel brand, which could make it attractive to investors like Capital Group. Over the last six months, its stake in Flutter has increased from 4.7% to 15.1%, the result of an investment worth roughly €650 million.
Sky Bet owner The Stars Group has begun reducing the headcount at its Dublin office as it gears up for a £10 billion merger with Flutter Entertainment. The Irish Times reported that the Canadian company has reduced the size of its Dublin workforce from 330 to around 260. “We have commenced our integration planning work ahead of our proposed merger with The Stars Group and remain excited about the opportunities that the deal will create for the group,” said Flutter chief executive Peter Jackson when presenting the 2019 financials. “The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has confirmed that it has granted its informal approval. We are continuing to work with the various competition authorities elsewhere globally to obtain the necessary approvals ahead of completion of the transaction.”
Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has announced that the country’s operators generated revenue of SEK24.8 billion (£2.03 billion) in 2019. The final quarter was the busiest for the operators. Elsewhere, a new French gambling regulator known as L’Autorité nationale des Jeux has moved a step closer to replacing the existing l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne. This week a decree formalising the transition of power came into effect. It lays out the new regulator’s key functions and responsibilities. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, previously state councillor for France’s National Commission for Data Protections, will head up the new organisation, managing an eight-strong board.
888 Sport is giving away seven free £5 bets on Tuesday’s racing at the Cheltenham Festival. Sign up for a new account, bet £10 on the first race and then you will be given a free £5 bet for every race on the card. Sky Bet will give you back your money as cash up to £10 if you lose in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Paddy Power will give you back your money as a free bet up to £10 if the horse you back fails to win, but finishes second, third or fourth. It also has boosted odds of 40/1 on Cross Country Chase favourite Tiger Roll if you sign up for a new account. Novibet has loads of boosted odds offers too, while William Hill will give you back your stake up to £10 if your horse finishes second.