William Hill Enjoys Marginal Revenue Growth, Attributes It to "Regulatory Headwinds"

Nov 22

William Hill enjoyed a marginal online net revenue growth of 1% year-on-year from July 3 to October 29 this year. The operator also had a 4% increase in their UK online revenue, but this growth was offset by a 4% fall in their international revenue for the same sector.

The international decline happened despite Mr. Green having been integrated within the trading period. William Hill attributed this development to “regulatory headwinds”, which caused the operator to leave the Swiss market and also led to a disruption in some payment methods used in other parts of Europe.

William Hill’s retail net revenue also suffered a decline of 16% for the period. A significant decline was experienced in net gaming revenue, which fell by 39%. Fortunately for the operator, sportsbook revenue increased by 13%.

The gambling operator did say they’re positive that UK customers are starting to adjust to the £2 maximum stake limit for fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs), which was just implemented by gambling regulators earlier this year.

The good news for William Hill is that their net revenue for US operations increased by 60%, with revenue in Nevada growing by 27%. Recently-appointed William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson said: “During my first months as CEO, I have been focused on how we can improve our competitiveness while ensuring we continue to deliver on our strategic ambitions. I am pleased to confirm we remain on track to meet our full-year expectations.”

The company is putting more focus on their online gambling operations, especially in light of the stricter regulations in the UK market. As a result of the maximum stake reduction for FOBTs earlier this year, William Hill had to close about 700 betting shops across the country. This was also when they decided to focus more on international markets, particularly the US sports betting sector, which was just recently made legal.

The British bookmaker is already operational in ten US states, and plans to continue its aggressive growth in the US market. They are also running a mobile betting application in the country. Just recently, they announced their purchase of CG Technology’s sportsbook assets, including its operations in Nevada and the Bahamas.

The legalisation of sports betting in the United States in May 2018 came at just the right moment for William Hill. When the British Government started imposing stricter regulations, William Hill was understandably one of the companies most willing to expand their presence in the newly-opened US market. As a result of their bold move, the betting company says they now hold a 26% share of the US sports betting sector.

Besides providing information about their financial performance for the period, William Hill also offered confirmation of their expectations for the full year. They announced that by August of 2020, they expect a full-year adjusted operating profit if between £50 million and £70 million. This was the first quarter for the company under the leadership of their new CEO as well as two new senior executives who were hired to help with the planned expansion of their digital division.