London Clubs seeks UK licences

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LONDON CLUBS International, the gaming group, is set to apply for new casino licences in the UK over the next few months as the Government presses ahead with the deregulation of the market.

The news came as the company, led by chief executive Alan Goodenough (pictured), reported a sharp drop in interim profits to pounds 10.9m from pounds 14.3m a year ago. London Clubs said earnings were hit hard by the "unexpected and significant" increase in gaming duty introduced in the last Budget. A fall in the number of punters from the Far East as a result of that region's financial crisis, and the strength of sterling, also took their toll on profits, the company added.