In February 2016, GVC acquired bwin to become one of the largest multinational sport betting and gaming groups. More recently the Group has come to investors’ attention over its potential tie-up with Ladbrokes Coral which would more than double its size.
The deal was originally abandoned as Ladbrokes Coral did not like the exposure GVC had to the unregulated Turkish gambling market. GVC built itself around unregulated markets but over the last few years has made a conscious effort to move away from what are deemed to be high-risk areas into more conventional ones; something institutional investors have been keen to see.
Since then, GVC disposed of its Turkish arm and it seems the deal between the two giants is back on the table. However, this was not the only issue overhanging both businesses, and indeed the sector. Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) have been a hot topic, with the government proposing a cap on how much a punter can stake. Previously it was possible to bet up to £100 every 20 seconds and, although not confirmed, it looks likely this will be reduced to £2. FOBTs are highly lucrative for bookies, and a large source of profit Ladbrokes Coral in particular.