Online growth boosts William Hill revenues

Sports Betting

William Hill reported a 3 per cent rise in retail net revenue for the 17 weeks to October 24, putting the company on track to deliver full-year earnings in line with market expectations.

The group on Monday said that performance for online was particularly buoyant. Net revenue in that part of the business increased by 6 per cent. Retail net revenue rose by 3 per cent.

We have delivered good financial and operational progress so far in the second half,” said Philip Bowcock, chief executive of William Hill. “Our online business has performed particularly well, with UK wagering 14 per cent ahead of last year, in spite of the absence of a major football tournament, and an acceleration in gaming growth.

Internationally, the company’s US business delivered 28 per cent net revenue growth for the period, offsetting a slight decline in net revenue across Australia.

William Hill is also still awaiting the outcome of a US Supreme Court Ruling on the liberalisation of betting, which has the potential to bolster its performance in the country further.  It is already the largest operator of sports books in Nevada.

Mr Bowcock added that the company looks “forward to receiving much needed clarity” from the UK government, which last month announced its intention to crack down on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs), which provide the largest source of revenues at retail bookmakers including William Hill.

Following its review, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the maximum stake on FOBTs should be reduced from from £100 down to £50, £30, £20 or £2. It has set out plans for a 12-week consultation to allow interested parties to make their case as to where the government should settle.