Ladbrokes ditches casino plans

21 January 2008

ENGLAND -- As reported by the UK Financial Times: "Ladbrokes, the leading British bookmaker, has ditched plans to break into the UK casino market in a blow for government plans to issue 16 new casino licenes to local authorities.

"James Purnell, the UK's culture minister, is expected to announce in the next few weeks the formal burial of the proposed supercasino in Manchester, north-west England.

"...But he will give the go-ahead for the eight large and eight small casinos that remain from the wreckage of the government's much-derided casino expansion policy.

"Ladbrokes, however, will not be among the bidders to run them.

"...Ladbrokes' decision raises doubts about whether any of the other leading gaming operators will bid for the new casinos.

"...Its decision to abandon the strategy in effect kills off talk of Ladbrokes as a suitor for Rank Group, the embattled casino and bingo operator, which has seen revenues plunge and which is attracting gaming groups..."

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