Ladbrokes pull-out of UK casino

Ladbrokes, the UK bookmaker, has put itself out of the running to operate one of the UK’s new 16 casinos that are expected to be given the green light within the next couple of weeks.

“We have conducted a review of our casino strategy and have decided to withdraw from the process due to the length of time it would take to generate sufficient return on the capital spend required,” a Ladbrokes’ spokesman said.

The government’s much-criticised casino plans have been left in tatters after plans for a Las Vegas-style supercasino was trumped by the House of Lords last year. The remaining 16 casinos on the bill, which are much smaller, are expected to be given to go ahead by the UK’s culture minister, James Purnell, within the next few weeks.

Those casinos will be spread around the country with big foreign operators such us Las Vegas Sands, Harrah’s and Genting International thought to be preparing bids. Casino and bingo operator, Rank, are now the only UK-based firm thought to be in the running following Ladbrokes’ withdrawal.

However, Rank has been experiencing tough times due to unfavourable bingo results and an increase in casino duty from last years budget so a bid from them is by no means a certainty.

Editor, - 2008-01-21 10:59:43

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