Industry Reports

GVC Holdings Puts Deal-Making Process on Back Burner, Awaiting British Gambling Review’s Outcome

In an interview with Reuters, GVC Holdings, the London-listed online sports betting and gambling company, announced that it will wait before sealing any further deals with other potential partners. The company’s decision was triggered by the British betting review, which is to change the gambling regulatory framework. The news came yesterday, when the company’s Chief Executive Officer officially stated GVC’s stance on the matter.

It is not a secret that GVC Holdings attributes its fast growth to its great number of partners and turnover deals. Over the years, it seems that this was the company’s business strategy, which appeared to be more than successful, taking into account the company’s dramatic revenue jump. Nevertheless, the British government is currently trying to introduce certain changes in the country’s legal code, as a crackdown on the controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The government’s actions left the gambling industry with unclear vision on the near future of the gambling industry.

GVC Chief Executive Kenny Alexander explained that such crackdown may significantly hit bookmakers with exposure in the UK. It is not a secret that among all the proposed measures, the officials push for cutting the stake limits from £100 to £20, or even less. Consequently, the bookmakers’ financial benefits will sink like a stone.

But the giant companies such as GVC did not put all their eggs in one basket, as they specialized in various fields. Mr. Alexander added that supposing the government approves such severe measures, it is in the company’s interest to enhance its presence in the online gambling market even more. GVC Holdings owns some of the most popular betting websites, including Foxy Bingo and Sportingbet. The company’s financial report for the first half of the year showed that the GVC’s revenue was strongly boosted by its online sports betting brands. Recently, GVC and the reputable bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral discussed a potential takeover deal.

Additional Information about the UK’s Crackdown on FOBTs

The country’s officials proposed a tighter limitation on the maximum stake, which the machines can accept. The government’s action was provoked by the fact that these FOBTs left many players with significant financial losses. In fact, FOBTs were firstly introduced in a number of betting shops around the UK. Their debut was more than 10 years ago, but they have become extremely popular among players in no time. Even though the FOBTs seem to be pretty successful on the market, many people voiced their concerns regarding the addictive nature of the gaming terminals. It is yet to become clear what measures the British policymakers will introduce, but it is most likely that the new rules will be tight.