Sport UK's William Hill warns of profit hit on local lockdowns as revenue slips

11:05  21 october  2020
11:05  21 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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UK bookmaker William Hill has reported a fall in half-year profits after being hit by changes to betting taxes. Pre-tax profits fell to £78.7m in the first six months of the year, down 35% from £121.8m a year earlier. It paid an additional £44m in gambling duties, following changes to the taxation of online

Betting firm William Hill has been hit with a £6.2m penalty package for breaching anti-money-laundering and social responsibility regulations. The Gambling Commission said the company did not do enough to ensure prevention measures were effective.

a store front at day: FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past a William Hill betting shop in London © Reuters/Neil Hall FILE PHOTO: A pedestrian walks past a William Hill betting shop in London (Reuters) - British bookmaker William Hill Plc warned on Wednesday that further local lockdowns triggered by a fast-spreading new coronavirus wave would hit core earnings, as it posted lower third-quarter revenue. The company, which is set to be acquired by U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment , estimated that shutting 100 shops for four weeks due to further local lockdowns would reduce core earnings by around 2 million pounds.

The betting firm said that around 10% of its betting shops are located in regions where the local COVID-19 alert level is classified as "very high" according to the government. The government has introduced fresh curbs including shutting some public places early.

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William Hill has issued its second profit warning in 12 months, after a series of William Hill remains without a permanent chief executive after James Henderson abruptly stood down in July May 11: William Hill hit by Cheltenham and falling online revenues . April 4: William Hill backs NYX

LONDON (Reuters) - British bookmaker William Hill said a poor retail performance in its third quarter meant operating profit had fallen 20 million pounds (.5 million) Overall underlying group revenue increased 4 percent in the third quarter, but operating profit fell 31 percent, or by 24 million pounds.

While net revenue was down 9% for 13 weeks ended Sept. 29, the drop was lower than the 32% fall it posted for the first-half, with growth in the United States cushioning the decline.

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Gambling firms, including rivals GVC and 888 Holdings <888.L>, have been targeting overseas markets, especially the U.S., to offset a hit from tighter regulations in Britain.

William Hill highlighted good performance in its international online business, which was partially offset by unfavourable sports results, and signalled a return in footfall towards pre-COVID-19 levels in its betting shops.

Caesars is set to buy the company in a 2.9 billion pound deal to expand in the fast-growing U.S. sports-betting market and intends to sell its non-U.S. operations, including more than 1,400 UK betting shops.

(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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