William Hill reports strong profits but warns on credit card ban

Betting giant says it could face £10 million hit from proposed restriction

 

Betting giant William Hill has posted annual profits ahead of expectations but warned that it could face a £10 million hit from an impending credit card ban. The Gambling Commission’s ban on the use of credit cards for online bets, which will begin in April, is the latest legislative crackdown on the gambling industry after the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals was hiked from £2 to £100 last year.

William Hill said it shut 713 retail stores in the UK during 2019 on the back of the stake increase, but has reported a smaller drop in profits than previously forecast.

Ulrik Bengtsson, chief executive of William Hill, said: “2019 was a year of transition during which we executed on our ambition to diversify internationally with the acquisition of Mr Green and the continued strong growth of our US business.

“The group delivered a strong operating performance, ahead of our expectations and against a challenging regulatory backdrop.”

“Our industry is evolving and this brings great opportunities, underlining the importance of our efforts to reposition the business. “We look forward to building on these foundations with a renewed focus on customer, team and execution.”