The Chief Executive Officer of GVC Holdings, Kenneth Alexander, revealed that the company is still looking for deals to enlarge its market presence, but it will put them on hold until more clarity is brought in the gambling regulatory environment of the UK.
The operator, which has rapidly grown to one of the leading online gambling companies on the territory of the UK, remains interested in consolidating its presence on the market via merger and acquisition deals. However, local gambling operators have been careful with making such plans due to the current uncertainty of the market.
GVC Holdings Plans for the Future
The ongoing gambling sector review which is carried out by the country’s Government could lead to major changes, resulting in reduction of the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) stakes. Fixed-odds betting machines have been quite a controversial topic lately, as they have been blamed for their highly addictive nature and large maximum stakes which could make players lose large amounts of money literally in a few minutes.
As Reuters reported, Mr. Alexander, CEO of GVC Holdings, revealed that the company does not make any plans for the time being, until at least the results of the review are released. According to the company’s boss, the operators does not have to take any risks on the triennial review or the Budget.
GVC Holdings’ Chief Executive Officer explained that the company would probably prefer a deal that would expand its current online portfolio in order to consolidate its presence on the UK iGaming market. According to Mr. Alexander, online gambling operations were far more prominent than retail ones. Still, the company has recently held negotiations related to a potential acquisition of the British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral which currently owns 3,600 high-street betting outlets.
Up to date, GVC Holdings is one of the leading online gambling companies in the UK with a market value of about £2.3 billion. It operates websites such as Sportingbet and Foxy Bingo. The operator revealed that its expected core earnings for the current year would probably be ahead of market analysts’ projections of €255.5 million. GVC Holdings has praised its performance over the first six months of the current fiscal year.
FOBTs Review and Possible Effects
Casino Guardian has previously reported that after it missed its initial due date in June, the gambling sector’s review is not expected to be ready until October at the earliest.
One of the possible outcomes of the review could be a reduction in the maximum stakes allowed by fixed-odds betting terminals. Currently, the machines allow a maximum amount of £100 to be placed every 20 seconds. On the other hand, if the local authorities make decision to eventually cut the FOBTs maximum stakes, a further wave of consolidation could be seen on the UK gambling market, as operators are expected to look for ways to expand their potential.
The most recent trend of market consolidation has already been reported by Casino Guardian at the end of August 2017. Constantly changing regulatory environment has brought certain changes to the UK gambling market, with companies operating in a competitive environment which requires from them to be strong enough to withstand the sector turmoil and challenges. It remains to be seen if a large merger or acquisition deal is to come until the end of 2017, or local operators will prefer to wait until Government’s FOBTs review is finally brought to light, followed by the consequences of the authorities’ decision.