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Online bookmaker industry set for change as merger talks continue

Thu, Oct 12, 5:49pm by Head Editor

The Online bookmaker industry in both Britain and Canada could be set for a shake-up, with William Hill and The Stars Group the latest gambling giants to reportedly be in merger talks.

The Financial Times reported on the proposed amalgamation last Thursday with the reason said to be the growing competition and the increasing number of regulatory obstacles.

William Hill, who are Britain’s largest betting company – employing more than 16,000 people – are leading the negotiations, with the Canadian based firm, who used to be called Amaya Inc, set to be a perfect partner, with their offering of products, and their access to the gaming industry.

In addition to online gambling, the Canadian company are also a gaming provider, and have had success in the poker industry, owning products such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

The merger talks come just weeks before the UK government release its review into the state of the nation’s gambling industry. This year’s assessment will focus on fixed-odds betting terminals and the threat that they pose to vulnerable customers of UK’s betting shops.

This is not the first time that these two companies have attempted to join forces, with an $8.4-billion deal falling over in November of 2016, when one of William Hill’s principal investors – Parvus Asset Management – disagreed with the proposal.

The aforementioned consolidation talks are not the only ones taking place between gambling giants at the moment, with GVC Holdings and Ladbrokes Coral also said to be finalising a multi-billion dollar deal before the end of October. The pair, which already attempted to close a similar deal in the past, have reportedly agreed on new directors and the shape of a new executive team.

Both of these mergers, if they come to fruition, are set to complete change the landscape of the online gambling industry, and will force rivals such as Sportsbet, CrownBet and even traditional betting agencies such as the TAB, will be forced to plot their next move, in a bid to keep up.


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