William Hill profits plunge as FOTB crackdown dents sales

11 Août, 2019, 08:42 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • William Hill profits plunge as FOTB crackdown dents sales

The boss of William Hill has ruled out further betting shop closures as a result of a crackdown on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT).

Critics said punters could lose vast amounts of money in a short space of time, seeing the machines, which offered simulated versions of blackjack, poker and roulette, as the crack cocaine of gambling.

"We took the decision to announce a consultation process over the proposed closure of around 700 shops to protect the long-term future of the business following the introduction of the £2 stake limit".

Philip Bowcock, William Hill CEO, believes U.S. growth will only benefit the operator in Q3 and beyond. Also Businesswire.com published the news titled: "Eldorado Resorts Completes Transaction with William Hill US to Bring Sports Wagering to Company's National Casino Portfolio - Business Wire" on January 29, 2019.

"We continue to expand rapidly in the USA, both in Nevada and in the new states, with over $1 billion wagered with us in the first half".

The William Hill Sportsbook opens August 15th with a diverse sports betting menu in the newly renovated space, which features 14 65-inch viewing monitors with 4K LCD displays and two 86-inch viewing monitors with 4K Ultra HD displays.

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Digital net revenues were down 2% pro forma if excluding the acquisition of Sweden-based Mr Green and down 3% in the United Kingdom, but an improvement on the 8% decline reported for the first 17 weeks of the year.

The firm added: "We continue to make important progress in collaborating with other major operators on a package of measures to enhance safer gambling and address public concerns about gambling".

Shares in William Hill plc (LSE:WMH) were trading up 6.10 per cent at 155.70 pence per share in London Friday morning following the release of the company's H1 results. We anticipate that the annual EBITDA contribution from retail operations at Caesars casinos would be around $20-35m within three years. "We do not see this as the end of our responsibilities and we continue to work with the industry to develop additional measures to protect our customers, in line with our ambition that nobody is harmed by gambling".

Eldorado's blockbuster $17.4 billion deal in June to take over Caesars Entertainment looks set to boost William Hill's US ambitions, giving it access to an additional five states to offer mobile betting in the renowned Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

"This combination would create the largest gambling company in the US and would provide William Hill US with market access to an additional five states, including California and NY, as well as a further 34 casinos, of which 29 are in states that have passed sports betting legislation".

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