Strong European results for Sportingbet

Online gaming group Sportingbet offset the loss of its US-facing business today by revealing strong growth at its European sports betting arm.

Online gaming group Sportingbet offset the loss of its US-facing business today by revealing strong growth at its European sports betting arm.

The Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act caused the group, which owns brands including Paradise Poker and Sportingodds.com, to sell its US-facing sports betting and casino business for a single US dollar in October.

The one-off impact on its books resulted in pre-tax losses of £311.6m for the year to July 31 from a profit of £71.2m a year earlier, as turnover dived 35% to £1.32bn.

However, it said profit from continuing operations rose 76% to £7.4m, helped by a 48% improvement in the gross win - the amount left behind by punters - at the company's European sports betting operation.

The number of customers who bet on the region's sports betting websites during the year rose by 14.3% to 436,779. They placed 46.1m bets, an increase of 30.6% on a year earlier and at a rate of 106 bets per active customer a year.

Andrew McIver, Sportingbet chief executive, said: "To lose 75% of our business following the US legislation but still record an operating profit for the year is, in my opinion, a highly creditable achievement."

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