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Online betting nobbles Coral results

Eurobet needs some Deep Heat up its backside

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UK bookies Coral lost £52.3 million last year, mainly thanks to the soaring costs of marketing its Eurobet Internet gambling site.

Coral made a gross profit of £162 million but operating costs leaped to £166 million, up from £77.3 million in 1999.

The company paid £4 million for Eurobet. According to the Telegraph, Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, Coral's private owner, also stumped up £10 million to expand Eurobet.

We had a quick look back to see what Eurobet had been doing with its promotions during Euro2000. Ladbrokes offered to refund the stake of your first bet up to £50 whether you win or lose. Littlewoods (www.bet247.co.uk) had an online only offer, which gave a free £5 bet for £5 stake. Victor Chandler (www.victorchandler.co.uk) gave a free £25 bet for first time punters.

According to portal QAZ.com, Eurobet offered "nothing special" for the event. But it did do a promotion which wasn't available online – it offered to match bets, pound for pound, for first time over the phone betters.

The Telegraph quotes an insider saying, "Coral is making a load of money, but it just needed some additional equity to grow Eurobet." ®

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