Gambling - William Hills announce significant closures

04 Jul

We recently reported the Gambling Commission’s publication of industry statistics for the period October 2017 to September 2018.  We highlighted in this article that the effect of the B2 stake reductions, which took effect in April ’19, on the land based industry will be published in due course.  Several industry commentators predict pronounced declines.

In its annual report, published in March, William Hill forecast that the government's decision would reduce betting shop sales by up to £100m a year and could lead to the closure of up to 900 stores.

Today William Hill announced plans to close about 700 betting shops, which could lead to 4,500 job losses.  The reduction in the B2 gaming machine stake to £2 in April was the only factor cited in their published statement.

Their statement read:

“William Hill has entered into a consultation process with retail colleagues over plans to close around 700 licensed betting offices. This follows the Government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on B2 gaming products to £2 on 1 April 2019. Since then the company has seen a significant fall in gaming machine revenues, in line with the guidance given when the Government’s decision was announced in May 2018.”

William Hill are currently the largest land based operator of betting shops in the UK with over 2.200 shops. 

Law correct at the date of publication.
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