Gala Coral readies online push

The Gala Coral Group, owner of the Coral.co.uk, galabingo.com and GalaCasinos.co.uk, is preparing to fight for a slice of the growing digital betting market with a major marketing push for its online brands.

According to a spokesman, the betting and bingo company is readying an “uplift in media investment” to push its online services.

In addition, it is also looking to recruit its first director of online marketing to plan, develop and manage campaigns.

The company has been investing in its digital offering ahead of the planned push. It recently redeveloped its sports betting site Coral.co.uk with the aim of offering an “enhanced online betting experience”.

An indication of online ambitions is the fact Coral has just become the “official betting and gaming partner of the Football League”. A three-year deal begins on 1 July and will see Coral and coral.co.uk also become the ’Official online Betting and Gaming partner’ of FL Interactive (FLi) – the digital arm of the Football League.

Rivals Ladbrokes and William Hill have also highlighted online as a growth area. In April, William Hill said it would increase marketing investment in its digital offering by 25% to boost revenue after reporting a 63% uplift in digital revenue last year. Ladbrokes has also identified digital as a growth opportunity.

According to the Gambling Commission, 9.9% of people gambled “remotely” in the first quarter of 2009, up from 7.2% in 2006.

Gala has been the subject of takeover talk over the past year. Recent reports suggest that the debt-laden company will be taken over by a group of financers said to include Apollo Management and Goldman Sachs.

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