BUSINESS

Betfred offers to downsize; 888 expects strong 2011 results

TAGs: 888 Holdings, Betfred

fred done betfredSerial advert creator and buyer of the Tote Betfred has offered to get shot of a number of its premises to comply with competition rules. The Northern bookmaker has offered to sell 25 sites to comply with Office of Fair Trade (OFT) competition fears raised by its summer purchase of the Tote. The OFT were originally unconcerned by the company’s purchase of the Tote’s estate of 517 but after further investigation, it’s been identified that a number of locations are causing “concern”.

“Betfred’s acquisition of the Tote did not raise competition concerns at a national level,” OFT senior director Ali Nikpay said. “However, there are some local areas where it has resulted in the elimination of or a significant reduction in choice of betting shops for consumers. The OFT is now considering Betfred’s offer to divest one of its betting shops in each area to remove the OFT’s competition concerns.”

If you get on the commute to work and realize there are way too many smiling people this morning, they probably work for 888 Holdings. This morning’s trading update reports that “trading remains very strong” at the firm with extra credence given to the firm’s casino and poker departments. In terms of next year, it’s likely to be one “major opportunity for 888,” a statement from the firm adding: “This significant strategic investment, along with the increases in gaming duty, will have an impact on the group’s profit expectations. However, the board still expects results for the year ending Dec. 31 2012 to be slightly ahead of current market expectations.”

888 is looking with inquisitive eyes over at the US market with the Nevada regulator confirming that they’re one of those applying for a license to operate internet poker in the state.

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