Ladbrokes-Coral eyes up merger opportunities down under

Betting Business, Ladbrokes-Carol, Tabcorp, AGE
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Ladbrokes-Coral, the newly merged bookmaker worth an estimated £2.4bn, is said to be weighing up a potential purchase of Tabcorp, Australia’s largest betting firm.

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ccording to various news sources, the British bookie has appointed a number of special advisers to work on a potential merger with the Australian firm. A deal with Tabcorp would see the group becoming one of largest bookmakers in the world, with a value totalling almost £5bn. At present, Tabcorp has a market value of £2.3bn – coming in just under the combined value of Ladbrokes and Coral – while Ladbrokes and Coral boast the largest bookmaking retail estate in the United Kingdom.

Most importantly, though, such a deal would give Ladbrokes and Coral – two primarily UK-based bookmakers – a way into the lucrative Australian market, which looks poised to liberalise its online laws over the coming months.

According to This Is Money, Australians are some of the highest spending bettors in the world, although there seems to be some shift in the gaming machines and betting shop marketplace. Gaming machines – known as “pokies” – have seen revenues fall in the past few years as players move online, but there are still around 200,000 machines stationed in bookmakers’ shops, pubs and hotels in the country.

It’s an environment that British bookmakers are keen to crack, with William Hill and Ladbrokes already investing heavily in their Australian operations in competition with Tabcorp. Undoubtedly though, an insight into the market from the nation’s most successful firm would be a boon to overseas operators looking to cement their presence.


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