Good and bad news for Ladbrokes

News that Ladbrokes had lost a suit against the Ministry of Taxation in Denmark was swiftly followed by an announcement that the British gaming company hopes to expand its business into Spain and Italy.

Ladbrokes filed the suit in Denmark against the monopoly that exists there on lottery and other betting sectors. Ladbrokes argued that gaming is a service and therefore should be open to free market environment, according to a 2003 European Community Court of Justice ruling.

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court, in line with an EU regulation, ruled that a gaming monopoly is allowed if the monopolising organisation does all they can within their power to prevent gambling addiction.

However, Ladbrokes later announced that they plan to have operations fully implemented in Italy within the next few weeks and hope to enter the Spanish market early next year.

Chief Executive Christopher Bell said that telephone and internet betting licences in Italy were “only a matter of process”, adding that Ladbrokes plan to take advantage of anticipated new legislation in Spain.

“We have stepped up our interest. We hope to make an announcement early in 2007.”

Bell also commented on how the anti-gambling law has affected Ladbrokes, stating that the European market had not changed too much since it was passed.

“From a trading point of view, not a lot has changed. In terms of competition, we have seen no new aggression.”

Editor, - 2006-11-16 11:13:07

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