Belfast Telegraph

Turkish move to crackdown on gambling hits takeover talks

By Kalyeena Makortoff

A crackdown on gambling ordered by Turkey's authoritarian president was partly to blame for a breakdown in takeover talks between GVC and high street bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral, it has emerged.

It is understood GVC's Turkish operations, which the group acquired as part of its takeover of Sportingbet in 2013 - became a sticking point for Ladbrokes Coral shareholders as the two firms discussed a potential deal.

The online firm's Turkish exposure was seen as a big investor risk following President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's clampdown on illegal gaming, which may extend to increased internet monitoring, restrictions on payment services and a ban on gambling advertising.

As a result of the changes, some foreign investors began pulling capital from the troubled Eurasian country.

Both GVC and Ladbrokes Coral declined to comment.

Belfast Telegraph