July 18, 2018 / 7:18 AM / 5 months ago

UPDATE 1-GVC's gaming revenue rises 11 pct on football World Cup boost

(Adds details on world cup betting, retail business, background)

July 18 (Reuters) - British gambling company GVC Holdings Plc said on Wednesday its quarterly net gaming revenue rose 11 percent as the football World Cup boosted win margins, volumes and value of new customer deposits.

Shares of UK bookmakers, including GVC, rose last week, with traders citing relief on England’s exit from the world cup as the companies stood to lose heavily if England progressed to the final. Croatia beat England 2-1 in their semi-final on July 11.

“The World Cup tournament as a whole has been a good one for the Group, helped by a better than expected gross win margin but also importantly volumes and value of new customer deposits,” GVC said.

It is estimated that as much as 2.5 billion pounds ($3.27 billion) was wagered, with two-thirds of all UK bets backing England ahead of their game with Croatia, a report from online financial trading firm IG Group Holdings showed. In comparison, at the last World Cup in 2014, consumers wagered about 1 billion pounds.

GVC, the owner of the Sportingbet, Bwin and Foxy Bingo brands, said its second-quarter online net gaming revenue grew 22 percent, with a 15 percent rise recorded between Jan. 1 to June 13, the period before the World Cup began.

GVC’s online brands have continued to benefit from a pipeline of new products and marketing campaigns, the company said.

The company said its domestic market retail business trends improved in the second quarter as weather proved less disruptive than in the first quarter, while European retail growth also remained very strong.

GVC, which has grown rapidly through acquisitions including the purchase of Ladbrokes late last year, has been evaluating a number of potential opportunities to expand its presence in the United States after the Supreme Court earlier this month paved the way to legalise sports betting.

The company expects to deliver full-year results in line with expectations and is set to post interim results on Sept. 13. ($1 = 0.7639 pounds) (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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