Football season lifts Sportingbet despite a dip in casino gambling

ONLINE gaming site Sportingbet yesterday reported a 34 per cent hike in third quarter earnings due to an increase in people betting on European football leagues and the Champions League.<br /><br />The group said operating profit for the third quarter to 30 April was &pound;9.8m, compared with &pound;7.3m the year before. The group also said that pre-tax profit, which didn&rsquo;t include exceptional charges such as share options, had leaped by 98 per cent to &pound;8.3m.<br /><br />Finance director Jim Wilkinson said the sports betting side of the business, which accounts for 66 per cent of revenues, was proving to be very resilient despite the recession. But the group&rsquo;s casino and poker division was more lacklustre, with poker revenues down by five per cent.