January 14, 2019 / 12:09 PM / a year ago

BUZZ-UK Gambling: "Fear of the unknown" - Barclays

** Barclays says 2018 is being viewed by some investors as “annus horribilis” for the sector with major regulatory driven downgrades, the analysts expect further volatility in 2019

** In the short term, player protection measures will suppress growth and UK slow-down would further dampen sentiment, says the analysts

** In the long term, gambling cos will benefit from greater global regulation, the structural shift from retail to online gambling, and an increase in digital payments and e-commerce, according to the brokerage

** The analysts cut Paddy Power Beffair to “equal-weight” on valuation, initiate on The Stars Group with “equal-weight”

** The brokerage stays “overweight” on GVC and remain positive on William Hill (“overweight”) on valuation

** Share prices are highly correlated to earnings, say the analysts and expect positive EPS momentum at GVC and negative EPS momentum at TSG

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