Many of the biggest players in the gambling industry operate under names that even their own customers would fail to recognise. Their customers are familiar only with the brand names the company uses in its marketing and advertising. 888 Holdings is one example, but at least it does actually operate using its “888” brand, to increase its familiarity.
This is not the case with GVC Holdings. Yet this company is responsible for so many different names, brands and sectors of the gambling business that just about everyone who enjoys a flutter, spin or game of bingo will have been a customer at some point. And even if you haven’t, you will surely recognise the trademarks.
GVC Holdings is involved in just about all sectors of the online industry, including sports betting, casino, poker and bingo. And it’s not just online either. In a major industry shake up, March 2018 saw the company complete a massive takeover of the Ladbroke Coral Group. This means that it is now also the owner of the two biggest betting shop chains on our high streets, making it by far the UK’s biggest real world bookmaker too. The company is now responsible for around 3,500 bookmaking shops, employing close to 30,000 people across both its Ladbrokes and Coral chains.
In the online world, the company owns familiar big name sports betting brands like Bwin, Sportingbet and Eurobet, in addition to the online presence of Ladbrokes and Coral. In casino and bingo, it owns the Foxy and Gala brands, plus other big name franchises like Party Casino and Party Poker.
In addition to its direct to customer operations, it also operates in the business to business (B2B) market, where it designs “white label” software for other operators.
The company is not just a big cheese in the United Kingdom. It is also a major international player which holds licences in more than twenty different countries. It operates across the European continent, where it has a particularly strong presence in Ireland, Belgium, Italy and Spain. It is also a major player both online and in the real world in Australia, where Ladbrokes is the third largest bookmaking brand.
In 2017, the last year for which figures are available at the time of writing, the company reported close to €4bn in revenue from sports betting alone. It also posted a profit before tax figure of close to €180m. And all this is before the takeover of Ladbroke Coral had even been completed, so future financial performance will be even more spectacular..
The company was originally founded in Luxembourg in 2004 and is currently headquartered in the Isle of Man. It is also a member of the FTSE 250 index.