|In the UK, Hilton have recorded record-breaking six month results for the year. Profits before tax have risen to £170 million, compared to £110.5 million in 2003. A major factor in this financial success is believed to be down to the tremendous boom experienced by Ladbrokes this year, a Hilton owned interest.|
The gambling brand has had a very prosperous year, mainly due to the addition of virtual casino machines in their betting shops. Meanwhile the online branch of Ladbrokes has also boomed, especially the online poker branch. As the figures were also boosted by stronger numbers for the hotels of the company, speculation has started that the Ladbrokes/Hilton merger may be dissolved next year, it is widely believed that staff at Ladbrokes are keen to do so.
Two factors in the strong performance for the British gambling industry are the surprise results in both Euro 2004, and the British Open. The failure of the favourites to clinch titles resulted in a windfall for bookies who have seen a heightened level of interest and wagers this year. The success of Ladbrokes and Hilton is only expected to increase, in line with the British gambling industry as a whole, thanks to the legislative changes approved by the UK government earlier this year, which will allow the installation of more slot machines in casinos, with no limits now set on prizes rewarded.