William Hill profits boosted by online and in-play bets

Euro 2012 final match between Spain and Italy Betting on Euro 2012 helped to boost revenues

The UK's largest bookmaker, William Hill, has reported rising profits, helped by revenues from online and in-play betting.

It said operating profit rise by 26% in the third quarter of the year.

The Olympics and Paralympics had "no material effect" on its performance, the firm said, and appeared to cut the number of people visiting its outlets.

However, this was offset by a good performance in football betting, including the Euro 2012 championship.

William Hill Online, its internet business, saw operating profit rise by 42% to £34.8m.

William Hill said that it would seek a valuation of the 29% stake in its online business that is held by joint venture partner Playtech, and that it may exercise its option to buy Playtech out.

The group also confirmed that it would decide by 13 November whether it would make a formal offer, with gaming technology business GVC Holdings, to acquire betting platform Sportingbet.

Also on Friday, Rank Group, the owner of Mecca Bingo, said that its group revenue had increased by 4% in the third quarter, led by its Grosvenor Casino brand, which grew by 8%.

Rank said that a 13% rise in spend-per-visit to its Grosvenor casinos offset a 5% drop in customer visits, particularly in London, but that most of the growth came from the brand's online betting presence.

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