William Hill loses £819m after taking a hit over clampdown on fixed-odds betting terminals
William Hill suffered a half-year loss after taking a hit on the Government plans to cut the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to just £2.
The bookmaker reported a loss of £819.6million for the six months to June 26, having reported a profit of £93.1million during the same period last year.
That was against a 3 per cent rise in group sales to £802.6million over the half year to June 26.
William Hill reported a loss of £819.6m for the six months to June 26, having reported a profit of £93.1m during the same period last year
Its results were knocked by £915.9million in exceptional charges and adjustments, which included an £882.8million impairment charge on its retail operations.
That was linked to the Government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to £2 – a regulatory change which the firm said was ‘unprecedented’.
The remaining exceptional charges included restructuring costs from the bookmaker’s turnaround programme.
The results sent shares down more than 9 per cent in morning trading. They eventually closed down 8.1 per cent, or 23.7p, at 268.6p.
Chief executive Philip Bowcock said the bookie had ‘performed well during the first half of 2018’ and after decisions affecting the gambling industry in the UK and US.
‘We now have greater clarity over the challenges and opportunities that lie before us,’ he added.
Betting firms are taking advantage of a recent ruling by the US Supreme Court which struck down a federal law that had banned gambling on individual sporting events.