|Ladbrokes has confirmed that it has put on ice plans for a land casino in the United Kingdom and will not be bidding for a casino licence when the Government makes available up to sixteen licenses later this year.|
“We have conducted a review of our casino strategy and have decided to withdraw from the process due to the length of time it would take to generate sufficient return on the capital spend required,” read a statement released by the British bookmaker.
Ladbrokes has a major presence in Ireland and this decision is undoubtedly a blow for Government plans to issue 16 new casino licensees to local authorities.
The British Government's increase in casino duty in last year's budget along with a public smoking ban and the removal of lucrative gaming machines as required under the Gaming Act have left casino operators nursing damaged businesses.
However, while James Purnell, the UK's Culture Minister, is expected to announce the formal burial of the proposed super-casino earmarked for Manchester within the next few weeks, he will also give the go-ahead for eight large and eight small casinos.