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New Star loses £10m as online gambling sinks

New Star UK fund managers Stephen Whittaker and James Ridgewell saw almost £10m wiped off the combined value of their funds after online gambling shares plummeted on Monday.

Whittaker’s £390m UK growth fund held a 5.2 per cent weighting in the sector which has since dropped to 2.9 per cent. Ridgewell’s £51m UK special situations fund held a 4.4 per cent stake which sank to 2.3 per cent.

Fidelity, Schroders and Merrill Lynch all have significant holdings in the sector, with Fidelity special situations and European funds among those hit.

Fidelity is the second, fourth and fifth-biggest individual shareholder in Sportingbet, PartyGaming and 888 holdings respectively.

Shares of PartyGaming fell by 58 per cent, 888 Holdings by 26 per cent and Sportingbet by 64 per cent on Monday after the US passed legislation banning online gambling.

A New Star spokesman said: “Stephen is still one of the biggest shareholders in Sportingbet but both managers will hold the stocks for now.”

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