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No Hurrahs for Harrah’s in the UK

Possible expansion into the UK by Harrah’s now looks unlikely

Friday 30th November 2007

The planned expansion of Las Vegas casino giant into the UK has been dealt a potentially fatal blow after it was revealed they will not be able to purchase a share in online gaming group Rank.

Harrah’s had wanted to purchase up to 28% of the company in return for Harrah’s casino holdings in the United Kingdom.

Rank has not been enjoying the best of times recently, with share values dropping over the past twelve months. Analysts have claimed that the smoking ban as well as enforced slot machine removals, coupled with tougher government taxation, has contributed to the down-turn. Despite the drop, companies such as Ladbrokes and Genting in Malaysia have shown an interest in purchasing the group.

The refusal to sell will be frustrating to Harrah’s, who have made great efforts in the past year to increase its brand name in Europe. Owners of the World Series of Poker brand, Harrah’s brought the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe to London this year, and also tied in a sponsorship deal with online betting exchange Betfair. Of course, the ambitions of the company could well see them look into UK expansion in the future, so watch this space.

Source: OnlineCasinoNews

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