Coral and Ladbrokes linked to £153 million US deal with casino giant MGM
The City is awash with rumours of an imminent deal that would result in the Ladbrokes Coral Group becoming part of the gold rush in America to get a share in the US sports betting market.
The rich new seam that is the sports betting market in America was opened up by a Supreme Court ruling this year.
Sky News is reporting that GVC Holdings, the venture capitalist owner of the merged British betting firms, will announced a £153 million ($200m) deal with MGM, one of the world's biggest casino operators.
It is understood GVC Holdings is this weekend finalising the details of a long-term joint-venture with MGM Resorts International, owner of famous Las Vegas brands including the MGM Grand, Bellagio and The Mirage.
City sources said the deal, which will ultimately encompass online sports betting and other interactive gaming services across the US, could be announced as soon as Monday.
A 25-year commitment
The new joint-venture, made possible by a liberalisation of US gambling legislation, is expected to be structured as a 50-50 operation into which both companies will commit an initial $100m.
The deal will marry GVC's technology expertise and platforms with the footprint and brand of MGM, one of the world's biggest hospitality groups.
It is likely to include a commitment of around 25 years from GVC and MGM, with an option in the agreement to buy each other out after ten years, according to one source.
The deal will get under way in Nevada, the only state in which single bets on sports events remained legal after the passing of laws in 1992.
This possible tie-up comes hot on the heels of Canadian-based conglomerate Stars Group taking over Sky Bet in a £3.4 billion deal in April.
The reported tie-up between GVC and MGM comes amid a frenzied bid by multi-national gaming groups to secure a slice of a nascent US sports betting market, which was thrown open in May by a Supreme Court ruling.
Paddy Power Betfair recently agreed to buy FanDuel, a fantasy sports league operator.
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