Ladbrokes owner Entain sees steady growth in online revenue

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A pedestrian walks past a branch of Ladbrokes in London, Britain December 22, 2017. REUTERS/Simon Dawson

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  • Annual revenues from online games are stable
  • Retail businesses ahead of expectations
  • Shares down 6.5%

July 7 (Reuters) – Online punters are spending less money on gambling due to a cost-of-living squeeze in Britain, Ladbrokes owner Entain (ENT.L) said on Thursday. ), as it lowered its online gaming revenue forecast for the year, sending the company’s shares lower.

Gambling businesses have taken advantage of the pandemic as punters went online for entertainment during shutdowns, but rising fuel and food costs are now forcing customers to cut back on non-essential spending.

Entain, which in March forecast year-over-year growth in online gaming net revenue in the mid-to-high single-digit range, said a weaker macro-economic environment was reducing the rate of customer spending, moderating overall growth in line.

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The company reported a 12% increase in net online gaming revenue last year. Entain shares fell 6.5% in morning trading.

However, Entain, formerly known as GVC Holdings, said its retail stores were trading ahead of expectations, with second-quarter volumes above pre-COVID-19 levels.

The betting group said its full-year outlook for net gaming revenue excludes the impacts of the upcoming review of UK gambling law.

Britain is set to release new rules in September after introducing several rules in recent years, including a cap on maximum bet at terminals, stricter age and identity checks for online gambling and more support for those who become addicted.

In June, Entain’s peer 888 Holdings (888.L) warned of a drop in mid-year revenue amid tightening UK online security measures. Read more

London-listed Entain, which also owns betting shops Coral and online brands bwin and partypoker, said on Thursday second-quarter online gaming net revenue fell 7%, while net gaming revenue group games had increased by 8%.

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Reporting by Sinchita Mitra in Bengaluru; Editing by Uttaresh.V and Edmund Blair

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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