William Hill has recorded a significant financial slump for the first half of 2019, with regulatory reforms and overseas expansion cited as the biggest drains on the company’s coffers.
The British bookmaker made £76.2m in adjusted operating profits between the start of January and the end of June, amounting to a year-on-year decrease of 33 per cent.
The chief factor in that alarming drop is the slashed value of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) after their legal maximum bet limit was reduced from £100 to only £2 earlier this year.
That move alone has forced Hills to announce the closure of more than 700 High Street betting shops in the United Kingdom, which will see around 4,500 workers lose their jobs.
The bookie has also spent millions launching retail and online gambling operations in the United States, where legalised sports betting has spread like wildfire since the federal ban was overturned by the US Supreme Court last year.
“We continue to expand rapidly in the US, both in Nevada and in the new states, with over $1bn wagered with us in the first half,” said Philip Bowcock, William Hill chief executive.
“We are now live in eight states and will expand into at least two more states in the second half.”
William Hill is well established in Nevada and has also forged sports betting partnerships in Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
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