In the United Kingdom, sportsbetting giant Ladbrokes Coral Group has announced that it intends to begin paying a voluntary levy on all of its offshore greyhound racing turnover from the start of next year.
London-based Ladbrokes Coral Group, which last week eschewed a second takeover attempt from online gambling firm GVC Holdings, explained that the commitment is unconditional and will see monies directed to the industry via the British Greyhound Racing Fund or through an appropriate body advised by the ongoing review into the industry being conducted by Lord David Lipsey.
“We are passionate supporters of greyhound racing,” read a statement from Jim Mullen, Chief Executive Officer for Ladbrokes Coral Group. “While it may be declining in popularity, it is still a much loved and staple part of our offer both in shops and through our digital channels.”
Ladbrokes Coral Group owns and operates greyhound racing facilities in the cities of Wolverhampton and Brighton along with venues in the London boroughs of Bexley and Havering. It declared that its commitment would be in addition to paying the existing retail levy and “significant investment in welfare and infrastructure at these tracks”.
“The debate on its funding has been going on for some time and while we have not always agreed that the sport is under funded, we do recognize that it is time for the industry to move on and start to rebuild the sport,” read the statement from Mullen. “We run our tracks to the highest standards of integrity and welfare and hope that this additional funding can help the wider industry join us in the aim of building a better sport and spectacle for the modern-day customer. We hope this gesture will help Lord Lipsey bring a period of stability to the sport when he produces his findings and that others will follow.”
In connected news, Ladbrokes Coral Group also recently released its unaudited interim financial results for the six months to the end of June showing that it recorded a 7% year-on-year pro-forma increase in its operating profit to $203.87 million.
October saw Ladbrokes Betting and Gaming Limited agree to a $3 billion deal to merge with Gala Coral Group Limited and create Ladbrokes Coral Group. This move has now resulted in the much larger entity recording an almost 82% swell year-on-year in overall half-year revenues to $1.55 billion.
London-listed Ladbrokes Coral Group additionally saw its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization for the first six months of 2017 rise by 135% year-on-year to $271.73 million while its operation profit from digital services swelled by 776% to hit $67.87 million.
“Ladbrokes Coral [Group] continues to make good operational and financial progress,” read a statement from Mullen. “We entered the year with ambitious targets for the first half to substantially complete the integration of our teams and migrate United Kingdom digital to a single platform. We delivered on both fronts and at the same time kept the business moving forward. The business is now looking to the second half with confidence.”