British gambling operator William Hill posts solid results despite regulatory headwinds at home and across Europe. US assets continue to spur growth and fresh opportunities to develop the business, with a few caveats.
William Hills Operations Continue to Grow
Strong US expansion has bolstered British gambling and sportsbook company William Hill results. Posting results on October 29, the company reported a strong increase year-over-year.
The positive developments in the United States have offset a domestic market hit harshly by the newly-introduced fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT) restrictions in the United Kingdom.
Revenue between July 3 and October 29 grew by 1%. William Hill scooped up 2% more total wagers, but net gaming revenue dipped by 8%.
However, the online segment remained strong with a 26-per-cent increase. In the period, William Hill saw the first benefits from the acquisition of Mr Green, leading to a 1-per-cent jump year-over-year.
Online Revenue Strong in the UK, Regulatory Headwinds in Europe
According to the company, the United Kingdom still accounted for the bulk of all online revenue, generating estimated two-thirds of the sum. Net revenue also grew up by 4%, the company added.
The integration of Mr Green has cost William Hill some money abroad where online revenue took a slightly drop. Switzerland introduced some payment restriction, affecting the company locally.
Meanwhile, the company has been pursuing an expansion policy across Europe, specifically focusing on Italy and Spain.
Italy is another market where sportsbooks and gambling companies are facing strong regulatory headwinds.
The M5S government has hiked tax rates once again, and promised to reduce the total number of gambling license holders in the country to around 50 from 80 presently.
Like-for-like net revenue dipped by 16%, William Hill specified, citing the FOBT restriction introduced in April 2019. The company had to close 700 shops and possibly lay off staff.
The overall FOBT move could potentially affect 50,000 in the United Kingdom, as a total, not specifically William Hill’s employees.
Developing the Mobile and Retail Strategy in the US
William Hill has been successful in establishing a good footprint in the United States, facilitating both mobile wagering as well as opening retail shops in multiple states.
As a result, net revenue increased to 60% from 53% previously. William Hill has managed to quickly capitalize from the newly regulated market, signing a partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment for a Capital One venue in Washington D.C.
William Hill is similarly looking to expand into Caesars’ casinos, as a result of the acquisition of the former by Eldorado Resorts, which was approved by shareholders in November.
Another pivotal deal was the partnership with CG Technology, landing further technological savvy to William Hill’s existing race and sportsbook platforms.
Commenting on developments, Ulrik Bengtsson, the man at the top of William Hill, has argued that the company’s team is filled with people who have a shared vision.
Moving forward, the company will focus on customer acquisition and improving the experience across the board.