Feb 23, 2018

William Hill in the red after slashing value of Australian business

UK bookmaker William Hill has fallen into the red after it slashed the value of its Australian business. Australian regulators banned credit-funded betting earlier this month and William Hill has said it is considering whether to sell this part of the business. Philip Bowcock, chief executive, said the Australian business "Took a higher level of bets using credit than others", adding: "If you go back in time to 2013 when we acquired the business, Australia was a different place." William Hill made a large bet on Australia in 2013 with a £459m deal to buy Sportingbet's business there. Net revenues rose 13 per cent to £617m. Sales at betting shops, by contrast, fell 1 per cent to £161m. In the UK, the betting shop business of William Hill and rivals is under threat from a government review of how much people should be allowed to wager at "Fixed odds betting terminals", the lucrative machines that campaigners have labelled the "Crack cocaine" of gambling.

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