U.K. Firms Feeling the Pinch
December 7, 2008 (InfoPowa News) — The decline of the economy in Britain has generated more sad reports of gambling businesses shrinking this week, with The Observer newspaper revealing that over the last 12 months nine land gambling establishments have closed their doors, axing hundreds of employees.
The Observer cites Gala Coral, owned by private equity firms Permira, Candover and Cinven, and Genting Stanley as the big losers. The former has shut four casinos, including an upmarket operation in London's Picadilly Circus, while Genting has closed operations in Liverpool and Manchester and is currently in a pay dispute with the GMB union.
Genting Stanley executive deputy chairman Peter Brooks told The Observer: "These closures, and I fear there will be more to follow, are stark evidence of the pressures faced by the industry in the U.K. to which the government has made a significant contribution, not least with last year's large tax hike."
But while U.K. casinos and bingo halls are struggling, there is evidence that bookmakers are increasing their revenue, the newspaper reports, pointing to William Hill's recent Q3 surge of 9 percent.