|Gala Bingo, the privately owned gaming group, is to launch an interactive gaming site. It is expanding the Gala brand ahead of a possible flotation later this year.|
The site, Gala Interactive, will be launched this summer, will cost £5m to develop and is expected to break even within nine months of going live.
It will be the first Internet product from a UK company to combine casino and bingo. It will be licensed and run out of Gibraltar where Gala has a casino.
John Kelly, chief executive, said it would swap to a UK license as soon as legislation legalizing gaming on the Internet is passed.
The entire gaming industry is gearing up to benefit from sweeping changes to the regulatory environment following a Government White Paper on gambling reform.
While many of the reforms to Britain's gaming act are unlikely to become law before 2004, the prospect of deregulation has boosted the chances of Gala, which is backed by Credit Suisse First Boston and Royal Bank Private, announcing a £800m stock market flotation this year.