SportingBet confirms takeover approach

SportingBet, the gaming company that saw 80 per cent of its customers disappear following the US crackdown on internet gambling, has confirmed it has received an approach about the possibility of a takeover.

"The board of Sportingbet has noted the recent press speculation and confirms that it has received a very preliminary approach which may or may not lead to an offer for the entire issued share capital of Sportingbet," it said in a statement.

That speculation saw a rise of as much as 14 per cent, with the Austrian-based gaming company Bwin thought to be behind the approach. However, Bwin declined to comment specifically on the matter and instead remained coy.

“We don't exclude the possibility of purchases,'' said Bwin spokesman Konrad Sveceny.

Since SportingBet pulled out of the US market, taking an exceptional charge of £252 million in the process, they have recovered well with turnover rising by 26 per cent in the second quarter following costs being cut by £56 million.

Bwin will also be buoyed by yesterday’s news that there seems a brighter future for Europe’s gambling companies following a ruling by the European Courts of Justice that Italy cannot charge operations that provide betting services on behalf of remote gaming companies.

Editor, - 2007-03-07 11:27:23

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