Online Casino in the Red
By Marianne Lambert
Online casino 32Red has announced annual losses of £3.74 million. The casino, which offers online roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and poker, expanded to include sports betting when it acquired Betdirect for £12.5m in June 2006.

The real price has been much higher: the company attributes the annual losses of £3.74M to an ‘abnormally’ high number of winning favourites in UK horseracing markets and unfavourable Champions League football results.

Since the acquisition there has also been a 265 percent increase in administrative expenses. Even without these losses, the casino and online poker results showed relatively weak growth of only 12 percent.

Ed Ware, formerly MD of Ladbrokes International, founded 32Red with his own and friends’ money in 2000. Now CEO, he admitted that, “2006 has been a year of transition for the company.”

However, 32Red reassured investors that “The company is pleased to maintain a constructive relationship with RBS.”

As well as a cost-cutting move to Gibraltar, 32Red has invested in rebranding. Matt Booth, the Marketing Chief stated, “We will be focusing on creating a distinctive brand that builds a long-lasting relationship with both existing and new customers.”

However, the site is known for a certain glamour, and Patsy Kensit provides the voice of casino dealer, adding to its distinctly British feel.

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