OREANDA-NEWS. Fitch Ratings says in a new report that consolidation will be a main driver in the competitive EMEA gaming market as operating margins remain under pressure over the next three years. These are the main conclusions from our recent investor meetings held in London and Paris.

With costs rising and revenues under pressure, the sector is beginning to consolidate as new taxes and increased regulations will require financially stronger groups. In the last three to four years overall taxation levels have risen, while in some countries concession fees from state entities to betting operators have been falling due to European governments' need to address budget deficits.

The move to online and digital is also accelerating, spurred by improved online betting offers and games, combined with ease of use and greater privacy. This trend, accompanied by the consolidation in the industry, should lead to greater rationalisation of betting shops and kiosk portfolios in the next three to five years.