William Hill hit by slowdown in wagers at its betting shops

Online gambling and falling consumer confidence cited as reasons for falling business

Bookmaker William Hill has hailed a 16% surge in online betting revenues since the start of the year thanks to a concerted push including the launch of a new app and website overhaul.  Photograph: Steven Paston/PA Wire

Bookmaker William Hill has hailed a 16% surge in online betting revenues since the start of the year thanks to a concerted push including the launch of a new app and website overhaul. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA Wire

 

William Hill has been hit by a slowdown in wagers at its UK betting shops, as punters increasingly choose to place their bets online and as other companies complain of falling consumer confidence on the high street.

In a trading update for 17 weeks to April 25th, the FTSE 250 bookmaker said that total net revenues at its retail arm, which accounts for the majority of its revenues, had increased 1 per cent, down from 2 per cent over the same period a year earlier.

‘Positive start’

The company said it has enjoyed a “positive start to 2017”, with 16 per cent revenue growth at its online division, which accounts for about a third of its business, and even stronger growth at its US and Australian divisions.

William Hill said it had benefited from “strong horseracing results” over the period. Other bookmakers have said they enjoyed big gains at Cheltenham, the annual horseracing festival that took place in March and featured a string of upsets that left punters out of pocket. 

However, it added that football results had led its gross win margins on the bets it has taken to be “lower than expected.”

- (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017)