Pools firms in merger talks

Two of the UK’s best-known football pools businesses – Littlewoods and Vernons – could be about to join forces.

Two of the UK’s best-known football pools businesses – Littlewoods and Vernons – could be about to join forces.

Gambling firm Sportech, which bought the Littlewoods pools business in 2000, said it had entered exclusive discussions over buying Vernon Pools from rival Ladbrokes.

The deal will give Liverpool-based Sportech access to more than 750,000 weekly pools punters.

Sportech also bought the Zetters pools business in 2002.

In a day of consolidation in the gaming sector, Austrian internet gambling site bwin also confirmed that it was in “very preliminary” discussions over a potential acquisition of UK rival SportingBet.

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