Battle of the British Betting Shops
By Linda
William Hill, the U.K.’s largest betting-shop owner is studying plans to bid for Coral Group, the third biggest for up to £750 million, ($1.06 billion). That would mean Hill-Coral overtake Ladbrokes as the largest betting-shop in Britain.

Hill, which has an online casino, and its financial advisors are looking at a bid as part of a review of the company’s growth strategy, The Business newspaper said.

However Hill faces competition from current largest betting-shop Ladbrokes. Ladbrokes recently reported that its e-gaming division, which includes an online casino, is becoming increasingly popular and account for 9% of its profits.

Both Hill and Ladbrokes would need to bid as part of consortiums to satisfy government regulators that the concentration of betting-shop owners would not lead to ‘anti-competitive’ practices, the paper said.

Hill would delay its initial public offering until later this year if it bids for Coral, which owns shops under the brand name Coral Eurobet.

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