Ladbrokes to Show its Hand over US Proposal
By James Mc
Terrestrial and online gambling firm Ladbrokes will announce this week whether it is to enter the hazardous waters of the US online gambling market, when it reveals its plans to investors.

Company chief executive Chris Bell is understood to be keen on developing Ladbrokes’ US facing online operation, but had been prevented due to the company’s links with the Hilton hotel group which had interests in the US. However since the businesses were split in March of this year, Ladbrokes have been monitoring the situation (BetOnSports) in the US and may yet move to enter what is the world’s biggest gambling market.

Ladbrokes will update investors on its plans for the US on Thursday when it will issue its first results as an independent business. Bell is expected to reveal pre-tax profits of £120m for the first half of 2006, down from £202m the year before after complex restructuring costs are taken into account. Earnings from the company's core betting operations are believed to have risen to £159m from £144m the year before, according to UBS.

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