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  1. #1
    The Buzz's Avatar
    The Buzz is offline GPWA Gossip Hound
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    Default William Hill reports huge losses and anticipates closing 900 betting shops

    Blaming the government clampdown on FOBTs, William Hill warned that it may have to close 900 betting shops, putting 4,500 jobs at risk. The bookmaker also reported a loss of £820m in the first six months of the year, as the decision to slash maximum stakes on FPBTs from £100 to £2 forced it to record a £915m accounting charge.

    From a report in The Guardian:

    The bookmaker warned that the curbs on FOBTs, which the government described as a “social blight”, would reduce its high street revenues by up to 45%, rendering 38% of its shops unprofitable.

    It predicted costs of up to £60,000 per shop closure, or more than £50m, with operating profits likely to decrease by up to £100m a year. Each bookmaker employs about five staff, meaning about 4,500 jobs are at risk if 900 shops close.

    The gloomy prognosis sent shares in the bookmaker sliding, closing down more than 8% at 287p, the biggest faller on the FTSE 350 on Friday.

    But William Hill said it had been encouraged by its nascent US operation, which has been growing fast since the supreme court overturned a longstanding ban on sports betting earlier this year.

    With William Hill’s UK network of high street bookmakers set to shrink, its chief executive, Philip Bowcock, said the company’s US operation could surpass its domestic business. “In time, yes, depending on regulation, our US business could be bigger than the UK,” he said. “The US population is seven times that of the UK and they like to gamble more, I think. Gambling is seen as part of everyday life, you’re not a social pariah if you enjoy it.”
    For example, William Hill also announced a major expansion in the U.S. last week, partnering with 11 casinos in Mississippi and one in West Virginia (read the press release here), prompting this quote from Peel Hunt analyst Ivor Jones in a note to clients

    “William Hill is seizing its U.S. opportunity because it has to . . . Retail is on life support and online is looking a little peaky."
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  3. #2
    JamieG1981's Avatar
    JamieG1981 is offline Public Member
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    The only reason the high street bookmakers survive in the UK is because of the FOBTs.

    The younger generations are all betting on their mobile phones, I would be surprised if every single high street bookmaker will be closed within the next ten years.

    Sent from my SM-G935F using Tapatalk

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    Triple7 (7 August 2018)

  5. #3
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    That's a lot of potential tax money...

  6. #4
    Mason Jones's Avatar
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    Totally agree. Millennials are the biggest part of the population and with being super tech savy they will impact the bookmakers that are still around...

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    drifter8 (8 August 2018)

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