Ladbrokes Liquidates Italian Retail Betting Division

Published Monday, April 12, 2010 -

According to recent reports Ladbrokes the betting giant from the U.K. has decided it will sell off it's land based betting shops located in Italy. Ladbrokes has agreed to a deal with an affiliate of Italian gaming and betting business Cogetech. The €5.25million price tag will give Ladbrokes a break from mounting losses incurred by running the retail betting shop chain in Italy and allow Ladbrokes to concentrate on it's online business ventures. Cogetech will now maintain the entire Italian retail estate of 82 shops and 51 corners and Ladbroke's head office in Milan. The bookmaker’s Italian retail business posted a loss of £9.9m during 2009 experiencing a significant downturn with the slumping economy. This is swift action following Ladbroke's appointment of new CEO Richard Glynn even though the move to sell the outlets was announced after posting losses in August of 2009. Finances was reason enough to liquidate the outlets caused by lower revenue growth, the presence of illegal shops, competition and the need for higher capital investment to make a dent in the online gambling market in Italy. The bookmaker has expanded its online operations in Italy with the recent launch of a Ladbrokes poker room on Microgaming's Italian poker network. The company sees the expansion continuing with an online casino and bingo offering coming to a Ladbrokes web site soon as regulations in the opening Italian market continue to evolve. France and Spain are also target markets that Ladbrokes will grow into as countries in Europe open up and regulate the online gambling industry. Ladbrokes recently brokered a deal with French media and television company Canal +. The Spanish land based interests Ladbrokes owns are safe for the time being as it will retain it's joint venture with Spain's Cirsa that has reportedly been doing break even business so far this year. This may not continue if there is not a suitable resolution to expansion in Spain outside of Madrid.



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