William Hill stays ahead of UK slump with US success
William Hill, like all UK-facing gambling operators, is facing a genuine crisis on its home turf. Between new restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) and regulators who are increasingly at ease issuing huge fines for infractions of all types, scratching out a profit is becoming increasingly difficult. But, against those long odds, William Hill is having a pretty profitable year so far.
According to a corporate trading statement released earlier this week, revenue at William Hill is up two percent over this same period in 2018. This comes as their massive retail empire has taken a seven percent nosedive in the wake of the new reduced stakes on FOBTs.
The secret to the company’s 2019 success lies in a combination of very robust online gambling revenues, some sharp acquisitions, and very successful foray into the recently opened US sports betting market.
On the retail side, overall revenue was down seven percent. In normal times this might sound pretty bad but, given the current situation in the UK, it’s actually quite impressive, given the fact that FOBT wagering was down a whopping 15 percent for the year so far.
One of the reasons William Hill is still in the black for 2019 is the fact that they’ve planted their flag firmly in some very profitable US sports betting markets. Revenue from US sports betting, which has branched far outside of Nevada, was up an astonishing 48 percent.
William Hill CEO Phillip Bowcock summed up the situation for 2019 saying, “Online continues to show good momentum as we focus on growing our mass market customer base, while Retail has begun to adapt to the new £2 machine gaming stake limit. Just one year on since PASPA was overturned William Hill has doubled the sports wagering it handles in the US, seen record performances at the Super Bowl and March Madness, is live in all seven states to have allowed sports betting and expects to enter further states soon, with Indiana and Iowa the most recent states to pass bills to legalise sports betting.”