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Press releases

Gala Coral
2 April 2004

Gala announces Management changes

Gala Group, the UK’s leading gaming operator, today announces two key management changes at the company. From April 2nd 2004, John Kelly will take on the role of Chairman. Neil Goulden, who is currently Managing Director, will replace him as Chief Executive.

In his new role, Mr Kelly will be responsible for contact with Government, regulators and the wider industry regarding the passage of gaming deregulation and Gala’s response to it. He will also be the primary contact between Gala and its investors at Candover and Cinven and its joint venture partner Harrah’s.

Mr Goulden will take over the day-to-day running of Gala’s business. His responsibilities will include operations from Gala’s 198 trading units, of which 168 are bingo clubs and 30 are casinos. In addition he will oversee long-term business strategy and any future M&A activity.

John Kelly said:
“Gala has come a long way since I led the management buy-in team from Bass in 1997. In that time the company has evolved into the UK’s leading gaming company, providing a broad range of gaming formats. We are now moving into an important period for the business with the significant benefits that may accrue from the Government’s proposed deregulation of the industry. My initial priority as Chairman will be to make sure that Gala is at the forefront of any legislative change and, as a business, is prepared to respond quickly in offering our customers the full benefits of a modern gaming regime.”

Mr Goulden said:

“I am delighted to take over at the helm of Gala. We have a fantastic business thanks to the dedication and commitment of our staff. I am looking forward to leading the company into the next and perhaps most important phase of its development.”

Notes to editors
Neil Goulden joined Gala in 2000 from Allied Leisure Plc where he was Chief Executive. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Letheby & Christopher, and sat on the board of Compass. Neil Goulden joined Ladbrokes from university, where between 1975 and 1989 he held a number of positions including head of risk management.

Gala Group is one of the UK’s largest gaming companies operating both casinos and bingo clubs.

Gala Bingo is the UK’s largest operator, with 40% market share. Gala has 168 clubs in the bingo portfolio attracting 32 million admissions per year and paying out £18 million in prize money every week. Gala Casinos has 1.2 million members and is among the UK’s largest casino operators with 30 sites in the UK, Isle of Man and Gibraltar.

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