Liberalisation of US gambling law is fuelling a wave of buyouts of more tech-savvy UK betting firms

The stock market bargain during the wild pandemic trading of March 2020, it turns out, was the owner of antique betting chains Ladbrokes and Coral. In the middle of that month, the share price more than halved in a week and briefly fell as low as 300p. Now Entain, as owner GVC subsequently renamed itself, may be looking at a bid of £25 a share or thereabouts, equivalent to £14.6bn.

Naturally the appeal of Entain at that price has little do with its 3,000 old-school bookies. The buzz is all in the US, where liberalisation of gambling laws has provoked a deal-making frenzy. DraftKings, the US suitor, comes armed with a roaring stock price and is determined to spend to grab market share.

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