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Ladbrokes owner enjoys surging profits as sporting events return

A Coral betting shop in central London. Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain has seen profits surge as lockdown restrictions eased and a full sporting calendar returned. Much of the growth came through online gambling, with high street bookies remaining closed due to Covid restrictions, the company said.

By Simon Neville, PA City Editor

Ladbrokes and Coral owner Entain has seen profits surge as lockdown restrictions eased and a full sporting calendar returned.

Much of the growth came through online gambling, with high street bookies remaining closed due to Covid restrictions, the company said.

Online net gaming revenue was up 28%, while revenues from high streets was down 46% in the first six months of the year.

In the US, Entain’s partnership with MGM Resorts is now the second-largest operator in the country, with 22% of the market, bosses said.

US regulators have been easing restrictions in the country in recent years, with each state able to decide whether to allow more gambling.

Entain’s BetMGM is now in 13 states, compared with three at the beginning of 2020, and expects to be in a total of 20 within the next 12 months.

As a result, net gaming revenues in the country hit 357 million dollars (£257 million).

In the UK, Entain’s online business grew 31% growth during the first six months.

UK sports brands were particularly strong, with net gaming revenues up 40% compared with the first six months of 2020.

Online gaming revenues grew 14% during the period.

But the company struggled in Germany, following changes to tax rules on gambling and changes to tackle addictions in the industry.

Entain said it has been acting in compliance with the new “Tolerance Policy” but accused rivals of not being compliant and creating an uneven market.

Globally, pre-tax profits soared 190% from £45.1 million to £130.6 million in the first six months of the year compared with the same period a year earlier.

Revenues were up 11% to £1.77 billion.

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