Ladbrokes, Coral Could Go Up for Sale Due to Entain Losses

  • Review comes on the back of a major loss of £878m ($1.12bn) for Entain
  • Entain also warned 2024 could see it take a £40m ($51.2m) hit to profits
  • CFO Rob Wood said the review would help “maximize shareholder value”
Ladbrokes sign on shop
Entain’s review follows it making a major loss of £878m ($1.12bn) in 2023. [Image:]

A tough 2023

Global iGaming giant Entain has admitted that a “difficult” 2023 has prompted a review of all its assets.  

According to the Evening Standard on Thursday, the review could see Entain put its UK sportsbooks Ladbrokes and Coral up for sale. The news comes on the back of Entain’s loss of £878m ($1.12bn) in 2023.

Entain was supposedly hindered by the UK’s new safer gambling rules

Despite a strong performance by underlying profits, which climbed to £1bn ($1,28bn) last year, Entain was supposedly hindered by the UK’s new safer gambling rules.

Entain’s CFO and Deputy CEO Rob Wood told the Standard while the brand review was in its infancy, it does indeed cover “all of our assets” with multiple possible scenarios.

Industry speculation suggests Entain’s smaller brands, such as PartyPoker and PartyCasino, could potentially join Ladbrokes and Coral on the for-sale market.

Hit after hit

Entain’s interim CEO Stella David stated 2023 was “an eventful and at times difficult year.” She added this presented her firm with “a number of challenges for the group, both industry-wide and Entain-specific.”

Entain’s nightmarish 2023 is exemplified by its agreement in November to pay £585m ($750m) in settlement relating to deals between its since-rebranded GVC business and now-shuttered Turkish subsidiary Sportingbet.

On Thursday, Entain also warned 2024 could see it take a £40m ($51.2m) hit to profits. Entain attributes this to its implementation of the UK’s new gambling safety rules following the government publishing the long awaited gambling white paper in April.

While Entain braces for the financial pain, it has stolen a beat on its rivals by early introduction of affordability checks and online caps. The interim CEO stated, however, that these “measures currently in place will continue to weigh on performance” over the short term.

Adding to this pressure, the UK government has grown twitchy over the country’s online betting surge. Last month it announced a £2 ($2.54) maximum spin limit on slot machines for under 25s and a £5 ($6.35) limit for adults.

Optimism amid falling shares

Entain’s CFO told the media that 2023 “was a period of necessary, but ultimately positive, transition for Entain.”

improve competitive positions and maximize shareholder value.”

One of these enhancements is Entain’s new capital allocation committee, which is heading the review of the firm’s “markets, brands and verticals” such as Ladbrokes and Coral. The CFO stated the aim of the review was to “help focus the organization, improve competitive positions and maximize shareholder value.”

Shares in Entain are, however, down 44% over the past year.

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