Sportingbet sells Turkish betting site

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The online bookie Sportingbet has finally offloaded its troublesome Turkish business which was instrumental in wrecking the chances of a deal with Ladbrokes.

The company sold its Turkish language website – offering bets to Turkish residents – to the East Pioneer Corporation, which is backed by GVC, a European online gaming firm, for at least £125m and potentially more depending on earnings.

Online gaming is illegal in Turkey and the future of the business had been put under review before Sportingbet started talking to Ladbrokes about a deal.

But while Ladbrokes has long been keen to strengthen its online operations, it is wary of doing deals with companies which have operated in countries where the legality of online gaming is questionable.

Analysts described the deal as sensible, and said the price was better than had been expected.