Coral are probably one of the most well-known betting brands that are in operation at the minute. They’ve been operating since 1926 and since then have built an enviable reputation which has enabled them to become a high street regular throughout the UK.
The company has made a variety of acquisitions and mergers during this time, none larger than the more recent ones that comprise the Gala Group and Ladbrokes. They are able to run more than 1,800 betting shops in the UK along with 25 casinos and over 300 betting outlets in Italy.
High Street Betting Shops
The first betting shop for the group came about in 1961 following the legalisation of gambling establishments in the UK. They were among the first shops to get going with high street betting as in the nearly 40 years preceding that they had gained a huge following from postal betting and betting within licensed casinos.
The expansion for the brand came quickly and within a year they had already been able to successfully open another 23 stores. Coral wanted to ensure that they were able to keep up with the pace of brands like William Hill back in the 60’s . Even though they never really surpassed their dominance, they were always a step ahead.
By the mid 1970’s Coral was now operating hundreds of betting shops. But, their keen interest for expansion meant that they were also pursuing other forms of gambling, such as bingo, casinos as well as leisure and hotel clubs. This gave them the ability to offer many different options, and eventually set them up to be the world-class powerhouse they are currently.
The mergers between Ladbrokes and Gala let them boost their exposure. The agreements implemented meant that for many of the stores operated by these brands, particularly Ladbrokes the latter, they were allowed to remain under their initial name, however they all contributed to the total number of the group.
As of the writing time for this article, Coral had amassed an impressive collection of more than 21,000 betting stores across the world, along with several brick and mortar casinos to boot as well.
On the Internet
Coral’s online status is pretty good and although it’s fair to say they faced some difficulties at first, the site now has one of the best layouts that you can find. The design is very much tried and tested on website, and there haven’t been an awful lot of changes in the last couple of years. This demonstrates how great the site is, and eliminates the necessity of a new design.
When it comes to appearances, there is a lot to appreciate about the website. You can get an overview of current betting markets , which will soon be launched as well as a good deal of navigation options that will get you to where you need to be. If we had one criticism of the website we’d think it’s busy, with a lot informing you upon landing.
They have a lot of features , however most of them you aren’t going to see in their retail stores. The most impressive addition in recent years has been the live streaming section which has increased massively. There is a wide selection of sports which are available for free to those who have a bank account with a deposit. Other features include live betting live scores as well as results, statistics blog, news, Coral Radio, football jackpots, loyalty sections and numerous banking options.
The website is excellent for promotions on betting also. In fact, Coral are probably one of the top when it comes to offers for not only new players and existing customers as well. These range from enhanced odds to specials for money back But for the vast majority of days , there’s something to take your time with.
Its Coral Connect card is another excellent addition to the Coral brand. It lets you place bets on the internet and take your winnings to the store when the bet has been settled. You can link your account with any high-street betting and keep track of these winnings in your betting account. You can also visit a store to determine whether you’ve won.
This Coral Connect card can be utilized in any of their 1800 stores across the UK and will also allow you to benefit from exclusive in-store as well as online promotions, bonuses and rewards.
When searching for Coral opening times make sure you check this site…
The Coral brand was set up in 1912 by Joseph Kagarlitsky, who later changed his name to Joe Coral. Kagarlitsky was originally born in Poland in 1912, and his family moved to the UK around 1912. Coral is similar to several betting companies , in that he actually began working for firms as a runner taking bets on the streets and then pacing them within the offices of the companies.
In 1926 he decided that it was time to go on his own and the brand ‘Coral’ was established. Coral began by taking bets on a variety of races, where he was able to secure two pitches at tracks within the UK. As the business began to gain momentum and grow, he purchased the first headquarters in 1943 opening a credit bureau in London’s West End.
“Coral’s” First High Street Shop
When betting shops were allowed to be legal in the year 1961. Coral then jumped at the opportunity to move the business forward, and set up up his first high street store. In these days, Coral was able to get ahead of the competition with huge commissions which enabled him to achieve massive popularity through the odds that were offered by Coral.
The popularity of the game in London continued to grow and as result he turned his focus to casino and bingo halls as well. In just one year, he already opened 23 betting shops throughout London and other parts of the UK as well.
The first of many takeovers from the Coral brand took place in 1981when the brewing company Bass Limited bought Coral for an unspecified sum. While Joe Coral stayed on as CEO of the company his job was to be a numbing factor when it came to day to daily operations. As a result, it was Bass who were keen to propel the business ahead.
The next decade saw the company were to establish another 650 betting outlets and, on top of that, they had huge improvements in the bingo, casino and leisure business, which was due in part because of the presence of Bass PLC within these sectors.
Joe Coral sadly passed away in the year 1991, however it will be remembered for establishing one of the most successful betting companies worldwide. At the time of his death, Coral was widely regarded within the top three bookmakers around the world, alongside the likes of William Hill and Ladbrokes.
A large portion of you will be conscious of the state of play regarding the merger of Coral and Ladbrokes however the initial buyout proposal was published in 1997. Ladbrokes tried to acquire Coral via Bass PLC, but after being sent to the UK Monopolies and Mergers Commission and a decision was taken that the deal couldn’t be completed as they would benefit from an unfair advantage over the rest of the competition.
Gala Coral Merger
It’s worth at this point talking regarding Gala. Gala brand. The main reason for this was the consequence of Bass PLC, the then owner of Coral, buying Gala from Granada Theatre Limited in 1991 for a sum that was reported to be up to PS141million. In the same year it was also the year that the Gala brand was re-launched with a fresh image. Then, the year 1997, a management buy-in bought all the clubs from Bass for a sum estimated to be in excess of PS235million.
Gala expanded over the following years, acquiring multiple properties that included casinos as well as bingo. Gala was sold in the end at a cost of PS1.24billion at the hands of two private equity companies, Candover and Cinven. The company then combined Gala and Gala Group and the then Coral Eurobet Group in a deal thought to be worth PS2.15billion in 2005 which made them the third largest gaming operator and bookmaker UK.
Other Mergers & Sales
Two more significant mergers and sales came about in 2015 . In 2015, it was first announced that Caledonia Investments PLC would be purchasing Gala Bingo Holdings Limited’s brand for PS241 million. Gala Bingo Holdings Limited brand for PS241 million. It was also announced that Ladbrokes would merge to Gala Coral in a deal valued at PS2.3 billion.
The merging of the two brands comes with some issues however it is highly likely that they’ll have to sell a few of their stores on the high street in order to conform with the Competition and Markets authority. Although no agreements have been concluded yet, there could be as many as 400 shops from both brands’ combined networks of more than 4,000.