|Luxury Hotel Group, Hilton, have announced that profits from its Ladbrokes gambling operation have surged 43% to £214.1m for the year to 31 December, up from £149.3m the year before, which means that, following a Ďdepressedí year for the hospitality Industry, gambling is now its main source of revenue.|
Hilton blamed the bad performance of its hotels on a decrease in corporate business travel as profits slid £65.6m, or 30%, to £146.5m.
Gambling, however, has never been more popular thanks to the introduction of fixed-odds terminals and virtual racing. The eGaming and telephone betting arms of the company also contributed to healthy profits. Hilton group chief-executive David Michels said: 'Basically, betting is just more popular. Our basic betting business went up 10% assisted by fixed-odds betting terminals.í
Hiltonís investment of £14m for giant screens to show virtual racing in its shops shows clearly where it feels future profit lies.
'As industry leaders in investment and the use of technology, coupled with the strength of the Ladbrokes brand across the world, the prospects for the business are positive,' said Michels.