Coral are among the best-known betting brands on the market at the minute. They’ve been operating since 1926 and over the years they’ve built up an enviable reputation which has enabled them to become an iconic name on the streets of the UK.
The company has been involved in a range of mergers and acquisitions in the last few years, but none was more than their recent ones which comprise Ladbrokes and Gala Group. Gala Group and Ladbrokes. This has allowed them to run more than 1,800 betting shops in the UK as well as 25 casinos, and over 300 betting shops in Italy.
High Street Betting Shops
The first gambling shop for the group came about in the year 1961, following the legalisation of gambling shops within the UK. They were one of the first to really get going by introducing high-street betting in the nearly 40 years prior to that they had gathered an enormous following through betting on the internet and in licensed casinos.
The expansion for the brand was swift and in just 12 months they had already been able to successful open a further 23 stores. Coral were determined to ensure that they were able to keep up with the rapid growth of other brands such as William Hill back in the 60’s . And while they did not really surpass their dominance, they never too far behind.
In the late 1970’s, Coral had already opened hundreds of betting shops. But, their keen eye for growth meant that they also targeted other types of betting, including bingo, casinos hotels, leisure clubs and hotels. They were able to build a diverse portfolio and eventually allowed them to become the worldwide powerhouse they are today.
Mergers with companies like Ladbrokes and Gala again allowed them to expand their reach once more. The deals created meant that for the majority of stores owned with these names particularly Ladbrokes which was allowed to remain under their name. However, they all added to the totality of the group.
As of the writing time for this piece, Coral had amassed an impressive collection of more than 21,000 betting shops worldwide, with several brick and mortar casinos in addition.
On the Internet
Coral’s online standing is strong and whilst it’s fair to say they struggled in the early days The site has one of the best layouts that you can find. The layout is tried and tested on site, and there haven’t been a lot of changes in the last couple of years. This demonstrates just how good the site looks, which eliminates the need for a redesign.
When it comes to appearances there’s a lot to like on this site. You’ll be able to access an overview of current betting markets , which will be starting soon as well as plenty of navigation options to jump into the place you want to be. If we had to make a single criticism of the website, we’d say that it’s a little full of details thrown at you when you arrive.
They have a lot of features though and most of them aren’t available to find in their retail stores. The most impressive addition in recent times is the live streaming option, which has increased massively. You get a huge range of sporting events to view that are free to users who have a betting account that is funded. In addition, other options include live betting, live scores and results, stats news, blogs, Coral Radio, football jackpots, loyalty sections and numerous banking options.
The website is great for betting promotions also. In reality, Coral are probably one of the top when it comes to offers for not only new players as well as existing players as well. The offers range from higher odds to money back specials But for the vast majority of days there is something to get your teeth stuck into.
Visit our website for Coral opening times
Coral Connect card Coral Connect card is another wonderful addition to the Coral brand. It lets you place bets online and then cash in your winnings at the shop once the bet has settled. It is possible to link your account up to any high street bets as well, meaning you can keep track of these winnings in your betting account or simply visit a store to see the amount you won.
Coral Connect card Coral Connect card can be used within any of their 1800 stores across the UK and also allows you to claim exclusive in-shop as well as online promotions, bonuses and rewards.
The Coral brand was created in 1912 by Joseph Kagarlitsky, who later changed his name to Joe Coral. Kagarlitsky was originally born in Poland and his family immigrated to UK in 1912. Coral is similar to a number of betting companies in that he actually began his career working for firms as a runner taking bets on the streets and then running them through the offices of those businesses.
In 1926, he made the decision that it was time to go by himself and thus the name “Coral” was established. Coral started life taking bets from a number of racing tracks , and he was able to gain two track pitches within the UK. The company began to grow and grow, he purchased the first office in 1943, opening the first credit center in London’s West End.
Coral’s First High Street Shop
As betting shops were finally legalized in 1961. Coral decided to seize the opportunity to move the business forward and set the first high street store. In the days of Coral, Coral was able to stay ahead of his competitors through huge commissions which allowed him to become a hugely popular business in the form of the odds Coral was able to provide.
The number of people who were interested in London has continued to increase and as a result, he began to turn his focus on bingo and casino halls, as well. Within 1 year he had already opened 23 betting stores across London and in other areas of the UK and beyond.
The first of the many acquisitions that took place under the Coral brand came about in the year 1981, when the brewing business Bass Limited bought Coral for an unspecified amount. While Joe Coral stayed on as the president of the company, his job was to take a back seat in day-to daily operations. As consequently, they were Bass who wanted to push the company forward.
Over the next decade the company would launch another 650 betting shops however, on top of that, they had huge growth in the gambling, bingo and leisure business, which was mostly due on the impact that was exerted by Bass PLC within these sectors.
Joe Coral sadly passed away in 1991, but his name will always be remembered as the man who created one of the biggest betting companies around the globe. At the time of his death, Coral was widely regarded within the top 3 bookmakers worldwide as well as William Hill and Ladbrokes.
Most of you will be well aware of current state of play with the merger of Coral and Ladbrokes however the initial purchase proposal was created in 1997. Ladbrokes was planning trying to buy Coral via Bass PLC, but after being sent to the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission the decision was made that the deal couldn’t proceed as they’d be unfairly advantaged over all the competitors.
Gala Coral Merger
It’s also worth mentioning a little about Gala. Gala brand. The brand was born as a consequence of Bass PLC, the then owner of Coral, buying Gala from Granada Theatre Limited in 1991 in exchange for a price that was reported to be as high as PS141million. The same year, it was also the year that the Gala brand was revived with a new image, and the year 1997 saw a management buy-in purchased all the clubs from Bass for a price that was reported to be more than of PS235million.
Gala continued to expand throughout the years, acquiring multiple properties for both casino and bingo. Gala was sold in the end for a sum of PS1.24billion in private equity to two companies, Candover and Cinven. The group then merged both Gala and Gala Group and the then Coral Eurobet Group in a deal thought to be worth PS2.15billion in 2005, making them the third biggest company in bookmaking and Bingo in the UK.
Other Mergers & Sales
Two significant mergers and sales took place in 2015 . In 2015, it was announced at first that Caledonia Investments PLC would be buying Gala Bingo Holdings Limited’s brand for PS241 million. Gala Bingo Holdings Limited brand for PS241 million. In addition, it was announced that Ladbrokes will join forces with Gala Coral in a deal of PS2.3 billion.
The merging of the two brands comes with it’s complications though and it’s very likely that they will have to sell a few of their high-street stores in order to conform with their obligations to the Competition and Markets authority. While no deals have been reached, it could be as high as 400 shops from the combined chain of 4,400.