Scottish bingo empire changes hands

GALA ACQUIRES COUNTY BINGO

With the purchase of rival County Bingo for 64 million (US$112 million), the Gala Group has added a further 10 bingo halls to its estate. Gala will now operate 30 bingo locations in Scotland, mostly in the Glasgow area. All the County Bingo sites will undergo rebranding and refurbishing as Gala bingo halls.

Gala, which acquired Coral Eurobet for a consideration of 2.18 billion (US$3.8 billion) last October, is the largest bingo operator in the UK and also one of the top casino companies. The company is valued at over 4 billion (US$7 billion) and has more than 17,000 employees and 2.2 million active customers. Besides being the largest UK bingo operator with 167 clubs, Gala is the third largest bookmaker in the country and has 30 casinos. It now also has a significant online gaming operation.

Thomas Paulo senior, who ran the Airdrie-based County Bingo and the firm County Properties and Developments, died last July. The 64 million sale of the bingo operations will make Thomas Paulo junior one of the 100 richest Scots. (E-01.11.06)

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