William Hill’s profits to suffer with FOBTs crackdown

The company could close up to 900 shops in the UK. Credits: shoplocator.williamhill

The company’s shares dropped on Tuesday after it warned of a decline in annual profit.

UK.- Shares in William Hill fell on Tuesday after the bookmaker warned of a decline in annual profit as it reported revenue for the 17 weeks since June 27 was down 4% when compared to a year before. The company also said that it will continue focusing on the emerging sports betting market from the United States.

The company has warned of lower full-year profits after the closure of a number of customer accounts to fight problem gambling and money laundering, as well as the government’s decision to lower the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs). The company plans to close up to 900 betting shops that have become unprofitable after the government’s decision.

Philip Bowcock, the William Hill chief executive, said: “We are continuing to experience a period of significant change for our industry and have already made important changes over the last two years to transform our digital business, broaden the management team and enhance our financial flexibility ahead of key regulatory changes.”

Moreover, the company said that took approximately US$200 million in bets during that period, but the online and retail business both showed struggle signs and group revenue fell 4% year-on-year.

“Looking at the second half performance so far, we have benefited from the later stages of the World Cup but otherwise football and racing margins have been weaker than expected, including three loss-making weeks on horseracing during the summer and customer-friendly football results during the international break in October,” Bowcock said.

“It has been another busy period for William Hill, with significant progress made on our plan to capitalise on the emerging US sports betting opportunity following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA in May,” Bowcock said.

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