Sportsbook closures in the UK continue as William Hill announced that many of their land-based betting shops won’t reopen around the High Street. Let’s take a closer look at the reasons together. Also, we will picture what are the company’s plans for the long-term
If you followed the latest gambling news, you saw how the pandemic ruined gambling industries all around the globe. However, UK operators have to face other challenges, as the Gambling Commission and the APPG coming up with further regulations month by month.
According to William Hill latest announcement, 119 of their High Street betting shops won’t reopen after the sportsbooks closures in the UK
The British betting company said in early August that despite they got the green light to continue operations many of their shops won’t reopen in the UK. After the endless sportsbook closures in the UK, we expected that after the regulations ease the big sportsbooks will return to the streets as well with our beloved sports events. William Hill has around 1500 UK institutions, so they are probably the biggest operators in the region. However, they don’t count on the same number of visitors as they had before the pandemic.
Around 300 workers at the company affected by the sportsbook closures in the UK. However, William Hill’s revenue is dropped to the third, and the countless upcoming Parlement regulations put them in a difficult situation. And if you take a look at the bigger picture, for the company, which employs more than twelve thousand people in ten countries this sacrifice seems reasonable. Even more, according to their statement less than 20 people will lose their jobs entirely.
The company shared the following reasons behind the unfortunate outcome: “We anticipate that longer-term retail footfall will not return to pre-COVID levels and 119 shops will remain closed following early lease breaks, with the majority of colleagues redeployed within the estate.”
Still, the current global disaster was just oil on the fire. Last year, they were talking about that sportsbook closures in the UK will affect more than 700 shops. In 2019 the UK Gambling Commission reduced the limit on fixed-odds betting terminals from £100 to a ridiculous £2.
Operators in the region must compensate their revenue drop somehow. And as the regulations getting more and more strict day by day, online platforms and the reduction of expenses are the only way to stay on foot.
Chief executive Ulrik Bengtsson also shared his positive vision in connection with how the company reacted to the happenings of the past months: “I am delighted with William Hill’s performance in these extraordinary times. Our team has been remarkable, supporting each other and our customers throughout the pandemic, and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts.
It seems William Hill will focus on the US Market in the future
We could also learn from William Hill that their sportsbooks closures in the UK are also part of a bigger plan. Since the UK regulations (not regarding the pandemic, but overall) put operators in a pretty awkward position. They won’t fight the British Parlament, instead, they are planning to conquer the US sports betting market.
While in the UK operating a land-based betting shop is close to impossible, in the US authorities ease on the rules instead of creating new ones. Seems like in the long-term sports betting in the UK or in Europe won’t be the same.