| William Hill denies rumours of gaming merger
March 3, 2006 William Hill scotched talks it was seeking a big merger with a gaming rival as it posted lower full-year profits, hit by too many winning horseracing favourites.
The bookmaker, which has been linked to a £4bn merger with casino operator Rank, would not comment on individual companies. However, chief executive David Harding said: "There are no talks with anybody at the moment." He admitted he was keen to explore "low-risk ways of exploiting this trend to convergence between betting and casino operations," but stressed: "Low risk doesn't mean buying somebody. It could mean partnering up with an American casino operator."
This could involve running "a sportsbook in a Las Vegas casino", he said, while assisting an American operator to move into the UK casino market, though he stressed there were no talks at present.
The rapid growth of Hills' online poker business, where gross win jumped 90pc last year, helped offset a tougher year in the betting shops and for telephone betting.
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