GVC, the company that owns Ladbrokes, says it expects its profits to be bigger than expected despite the government’s clampdown on gambling.

The firm still expects to close 900 stores over two years because of the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) being cut to £2.

But while the use of FOBTs has fallen, in the third quarter more bets were being placed in-store.

The group, which also owns Coral, said online betting is also up by 12%.

In a third quarter trading update, it upgraded its profits guidance for the full year to between £670-£680m, from £650-£670m.

Kenneth Alexander, GVC’s chief executive, said: “I am delighted that the group’s financial performance has allowed us to upgrade our full-year earnings before interest and tax expectations again.

“Online momentum remains strong

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