William Hill’s results have subdued amid a rapid expansion and a few regulatory hits back him in the United Kingdom and across Europe. The total profits shrunk by 15% in 2018.
William Hill Expansion Continues, Profits Tumble
At the beginning of 2018, William Hill was slapped with £6.2 million for a failure to meet customer protection standards. Woes continued to pile on, although the operator pushed on with a rapid expansion across the United States where a newly-regulated sports betting market beckoned.
Drawing the line at the end of 2018, William Hill had indeed gained ground. The operator headed into Iowa ahead of any formal go-ahead for the sports betting industry, exuding confidence and determination to make a splash on the market.
In November, 2018, the operator teamed up with BetMakers to push with further expansion in the United States.
Today, Will Hill runs over 100 betting shop in Nevada alone, giving it a solid foothold in the Garden State.
William Hill added Golden Entertainment in the state as a partner in the last quarter of the year, and consolidated its presence on the U.S. East Coast by adding National Hockey League (NHL) franchise New Jersey Devils and MSG Networks.
In a word? William Hill has done an exceptional job of maintaining a robust business presence and a diversified portfolio. So, why did profits tumble?
William Hill Expects 15% Dip in Profits
William Hill is preparing to end the financial 2018 with 15% dip in its revenue compared to 2017. Despite the strong performance on the U.S. market, with £234 million notched up, the sum was below previous performance results.
The sportsbook was confident in the results, citing what would have been growth, had it not been for investing more in its due diligence safeguards following fines by regulators back home.
William Hill was confident with the progress driven in the United States, although the operator acknowledged that new challenges were piling up at home.
On April 1, the fixed-odds betting terminals will be re-adjusted to accept maximum bets of £2, compared to the current levels of £100. The issue was so heavily debated that it led to the resignation of a Minister after the initial enactment period was scheduled for October this year.
In addition, online casino tax rate will jump by the nearly business-breaking 6% to 21%, from previously 15%, making it a double whammy for the industry at home.
It’s small wonder that William Hill is eyeing the U.S. market with hopefulness. The tightening regulator noose at home has been a challenge not easily ignored. Curiously enough, it was the U.S. over-regulation in the past that had prompted companies to focus on the UK market.
With the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) acting more sternly and a newly-issued reinterpretation of the Wire Act in the U.S., there seems to be no save haven for operators in the world presently.