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  1. #1
    The Buzz's Avatar
    The Buzz is offline GPWA Gossip Hound
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    Default GVC sells Ladbrokes and Coral racecourse pitches

    GVC Holdings' Ladbrokes and Coral announced last week that it will cease operation of all of its 106 racecourse betting pitches.

    In a statement, GVC’s trading director Tom Ritzema said the decision had “not been taken lightly”, and that several factors had been taken into consideration.

    “The volume of business taken through the racecourse pitches is miniscule compared to the volumes generated in our off-course retail and digital businesses, and we no longer use the operation to hedge into the racecourse betting ring.

    “As the racecourse operation is loss-making and no longer has a strategic purpose, we have regrettably reached the decision to sell our pitches and leave the ring. The current situation with Covid-19, and racing behind closed doors, expedited the decision but was not one of the factors behind it.”
    From The Guardian:

    Both Coral and Ladbrokes have been fixtures “on the rails” at racecourses for many decades and Ladbrokes’ nickname – “the Magic Sign” – was a regular feature of the late John McCririck’s reports from the ring on Channel 4 Racing, when the firm’s representatives were trying to hedge liabilities on a well-backed runner.

    In recent years, however, the overall significance of the on-course market in British betting has declined significantly, and it has not been able to operate at all since racing resumed behind closed doors in June. The loss of two brands with such a long-standing presence in the ring can only add to the uncertainty over the ring’s long-term future.

    Robin Grossmith, a ring bookmaker for nearly 40 years and a director of the Federation of Racecourse Bookmakers, said on Tuesday that the departure of Ladbrokes and Coral was a surprise.

    “Perhaps they feel that their businesses are going in a different direction since joining GVC and this is old hat to them now,” Grossmith said. “But I’d have thought that a racecourse presence with their boards up, and the coverage that gets, it’s basically free advertising every time racing is on television and they pan along [the line of bookmakers]. But perhaps that just doesn’t fit in with their business model any more.
    Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/20...talking-horses

  2. #2
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    The pitches were snapped up by Sid Hooper:

    One of the leading independent operators, John Hooper (trading as Sid Hooper), has confirmed his intention to acquire the 85 pitches in the UK and 21 based in Ireland..
    Who are also the people who bought the WH pitches a couple of years ago:

    Bookmaking giant William Hill have quit the betting ring, selling 82 racecourse pitches to the company which bets under the Sid Hooper banner.
    Could Hooper be making a move to become a player outside of the courses?
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  4. #3
    Mattbar's Avatar
    Mattbar is offline Private Member
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    Default

    I think it is good to have independents dominating the betting ring, it is one of the only places where independents can still do well among the big companies.

    It is ironic that without betting pitches neither Ladbrokes, Coral or William Hill would exist in the way they do today and yet now they feel those name pitches are not worth enough money to them.

    I doubt anyone will miss them.

  5. #4
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Will hill have betting shops inside some of the though courses though, that was more the driving force behind them selling the pitches I think (ie: they wanted to focus on course based shops rather than pitches).
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  6. #5
    ocreditor's Avatar
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    Default

    Ladbrokes & CORAL again.. I think these brands are cursed

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