Ladbrokes' Irish revenue grows 1% despite betting tax hike

Ladbrokes' Irish revenue grows 1% despite betting tax hike

British bookmaker Ladbrokes has reported a 1% increase in net gaming revenue at its Irish operations for the first half of the year.

However, Ireland was the weakest first-half performer for Ladbrokes-Coral; lagging the UK's 10% growth and even the 12% revenue growth seen in Belgium.

Regulatory changes, this year, have seen a doubling - to 2% - of tax on Irish-based bookmakers' retail turnovers but also a slashing in maximum allowable stakes for in-store betting machines in UK betting shops, putting pressure on operators in both markets.

GVC Holdings - the UK gaming group which owns Ladbrokes-Coral and a host of online casino brands such as PartyCasino, Foxy Bingo and PartyPoker - said group revenue rose 62% to just over £1.78bn (€1.94bn) in the first half.

Earlier this year, the group moved some of its online bingo, betting and gaming-facilitating computer servers to Dublin as a contingency measure against a no-deal Brexit.

Ladbrokes - which operates 139 shops in Ireland - also said that a slighthly dented over-the-counter gross win margin was due to softer margins in greyhounds and Irish horseracing.

Ladbrokes rival Flutter - which owns Paddy Power and Betfair - recently reported an 8% jump in first half online revenues but a 4% fall in retail/shop sales.

GVC said its total operating costs, for the first half, were 1% lower on a year-on-year basis. Most betting-related stocks - GVC, Flutter and William Hill included - fell marginally.

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