Reports suggest that the CMA will allow the proposed £2.3 billion merger to go ahead, but the resulting entity might be forced to sell hundreds of betting shops in order to satisfy concerns raised about competition. Ladbrokes and Coral are currently the second and third largest gambling operators behind the market leader William Hill, but a successful outcome this week would allow the new Ladbrokes-Gala Coral hybrid to seize that title.
However, recent history may not be on the side of the two companies, with some analysts pointing towards last week’s failed merger between telecommunications giants O2 and Three being an indication of how thing might turn out for this latest roll of the dice by Ladbrokes and Gala Coral. The CMA were concerned that a combination of O2 and Three would reduce the choice available to customers, therefore opting to dismiss the deal, a decision that could well be reached where the two gambling companies are concerned.
William Hill are amongst those strongly opposed to the merger, with the company having already called on the CMA to halt the move. The current market leader claims that the competitive pressures in the retail market are “more local than national” and are largely based on the location of shops and the level of service provided. Should the merger prove successful, industry experts predict that the CMA will order the potential Ladbrokes-Gala Coral hybrid to relinquish control of around an eighth of its 4,000 outlets.
While those involved in the case attempt to thrash out a deal, head over to Gamble’s Casino Reviews page, where you will find comprehensive reviews of both Ladbrokes and Gala Coral, as well as many more fantastic online casinos.