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William Hill Warning about Ladbrokes-Coral Merger
Thursday, February 18, 2016 : U.K. BETTING GIANT WARNS ON LADBROKES-CORAL MERGER (Update)
Rival William Hill claims the merged company poses a threat to the bookmaking industry.
The GBP 2.3 million merger between bookmaking groups Ladbrokes and Coral was the subject of a complaint to the competitions regulator this week by rival William Hill plc, which warned that the enlarged company poses a threat to the market.
Reporting on the complaint, The Telegraph newspaper said that William Hill is concerned that the merger will harm competition in the industry, even if Ladbrokes and Coral agree to sell off significant numbers of betting shops.
In its submission to the Competition and Markets Authority, William Hill recommended that Ladbrokes and Coral be barred from a tie-up for the same reasons they were blocked from merging eighteen years ago, when a first attempt to combine the two major betting groups was nixed by the Labour government of the day on grounds that it would be anti-competitive.
“It is important to recognise that the structure of the market has changed relatively little since 1998,” William Hill said, adding that there were 8,983 betting shops in Britain then, compared with 8,958 last year.
“To the extent that the market has changed, those changes reinforce the concerns set out in 1998,” William Hill opined, adding that the market is already significantly more concentrated than it was before.
The submission comes at a time when the Competition and Markets Authority is investigating the merger proposed by the two gambling companies and agreed between them last July.
William Hill has a competitive concern; if the merger goes ahead Ladbrokes-Coral will unseat William Hill as the biggest bookmaking firm in the UK.
The Telegraph notes that Ladbrokes-Coral claims that the rise of Internet gambling, not foreseen as such a powerful force back in 1998, has transformed the betting landscape and creates the space for the partnership to be approved.
However, this is an argument with which William Hill disagrees, saying it will not "significantly mitigate the loss of competition resulting from the merger”
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
Fair Play Bets and QuickFire in Deal -
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Cavaliers Aim to Take Down Wizards on 2/22/18 -
The Cleveland Cavaliers have looked like a different team since making their moves at the trade deadline. The Washington Wizards are up next for the Cavaliers, who will be at home after the All-Star break.
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