Ladbrokes owner GVC scores betting boost from World Cup wagers

The World Cup and online betting boosted Ladbrokes owner GVC in the third quarter, but betting shops on the UK high street continued to be weaker.

Total net gaming revenue (NGR) was up 14%, supported by online growth of 28%.

But UK retail NGR dropped 2% on a like-for-like basis, despite an uplift from World Cup wagers.

Meanwhile, European retail operations grew by 24% thanks to the tournament.

Some of the strongest growth was seen in Germany and Italy, where NGR was up 30% and 14% respectively.

GVC is now turning its attention to taking advantage of deregulation in the US, which has allowed states to legalise sports betting.

It signed a deal for a joint venture with American casino group MGM Resorts in July.

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GVC Holdings chief executive Kenneth Alexander (GVC/PA)

Chief executive Kenneth Alexander said: “We believe our sports betting joint venture with MGM is best placed to be the market leader in the US and we have taken the first steps on that journey with the soft launch of our sports betting app in New Jersey.”

The group also announced that Rob Wood has been appointed deputy chief financial officer, with the intention of taking over from current CFO Paul Bowtell in March next year.

Mr Wood is currently finance boss of the Ladbrokes Coral UK retail business.

Mr Bowtell said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with GVC and I am pleased that I can hand over my CFO responsibilities to someone with Rob’s experience of the sector and understanding of the group’s business.

“This will be critical for GVC in driving growth in its key markets and extracting the synergies from the GVC acquisition of Ladbrokes Coral.”

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