- William Hill’s results slump both in retail and online
- MRG deal helps prop results up
- Sports betting handle has increased by over 60% in Q1 in the US
William Hill’s results in Q1, 2019 were slower year-over-year. A deal with MRG has helped the operator to catch up on its results.
William Hills Results Strong Thanks to MRG Deal
William Hill has posted mixed financial results. The operator’s revenue soared 2% in Q1, 2019 but a continuing drop in online and retail business is finally taking a toll. Nothing that the company can’t handle in any event.
Overall, the first quarter saw a 2% increase in revenue leading up to April 20, 2019. Online net revenue went up by 8% over the period, thanks to a deal involving gaming operator MRG which William Hill successfully finalized recently. The deal cost the UK-based operator nearly $300 million.
Not considering the MRG’s deal, however, online revenue went down 6% which is a notable slow-down Other verticals, including spots betting, also got hit by 12%. William Hill explained that as standards rose, the company would need time to adapt to the new mandatory background checks regulators require.
This includes enhanced due diligence practices looking to establish the identity of customers ahead of depositing or playing. The operator had to close 1% of shops it owned because of the introduction of a Fixed -Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTS) maximum stakes, which were scaled back to £2 per maximum wager.
Retail gaming revenue plunged by 15% as a direct result of the new measure. William Hill hasn’t complained though and the company has been among the UK brands to back the issue not only in the UK but also in Ireland.
William Hill is still in the process of analysing how FOBTs changes have affected its business model and it would take the company at least 15 months to come up with a meaningful conclusion.
Tightening Regulation at Home, Free Ride in the US
With sports betting expanding rapidly across the United States, William Hill is pushing strongly abroad. The operator is present in seven states which has brought it 48% increased revenue in Q1, 2019. Overall, 65% more has been wagered in the US, William Hill noted. CEO Philip Bowcock also commented on the market’s prospects:
“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,” cited by iGaming Business.
William Hill is entering into a time when customer protection practices are at their highest. While the United States is also stringent about enforcing codes of conducts for operators, the majority of sports betting happens at brick-and-mortar venues in the US.
This dispenses with the need to carry extensive online checks, brands in the US are increasingly opting for a more personal approach. It seems that the toughest spell is over for William Hill and the company is only going to bounce back from here now on.