Gala Coral, one of Europe’s biggest betting and gaming operations, has been badly hit by smoking bans, changes in gambling regulation and taxation, and aggressive competition. Struggling to service its debt of more than £2 billion, the company was forced to restructure last June. Its private-equity backers lost control, while the holders of its debt wrote off £700m, exchanging some of it for equity. Gala, which appointed Carl Lever as chief executive in November, owns 144 bingo clubs, 27 casinos and 2,000 betting shops in the UK and Italy, as well as online betting and gaming businesses. The Essex-based company’s turnover in 2010 was £1,168m, consisting of net revenue, not gross amounts wagered.

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Company details
Year2011
Rank33
CompanyGala Coral
ActivityBetting and gaming operator
LocationCentral London
Sales £m1,168
Profit £m307
Year endSep 10
Principal shareholdersApollo (26%), Cerberus (18%), Park Square (8%), York Capital (6%) and 21 other investors
Staff16,560
Founded1926
Websitewww.galagroup.co.uk

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* Supplied by company † Annualised figure