|Hilton Group, the UK hotel and betting company, is planning to get back into the casino business, despite selling its casino assets almost four years ago. |
Hilton owns Ladbrokes, the leading UK bookmaker chain which has over 2000 high street outlets and an online betting operation, wants back in to capitalize on the anticipated boom in casinos in the UK after the introduction of proposed gambling reforms.
Hilton sold its 27 casinos to Gala Group for £235m ($ m). Now, however, gambling accounts for 60% of Hilton Group’s profits, compared to 40% four years ago.
Hilton also stands to cash in by adding casinos to its hotels. Ladbrokes Worldwide chief executive Chris Bell said: 'In the UK there are 129 casinos and there is room for more.’ Bell said there is potential for an ‘unlimited’ number of casinos in the UK and that Hilton is thinking of moving back into the sector.
'We got out of casinos at just the right time and got a good price for them. The cash was invested in the business and now it's a good time to get back in,' Bell said.
First, Hilton wants a better idea of how many casinos will be allowed, and in which locations. The company expects to decide in the next few months. Hilton did not rule out building new, stand alone casinos.