May 15, 2018

William Hill warns prime minister over FOBTs rule change

The chairman of bookmaker William Hill has warned the prime minister his firm risks being bought by a foreign rival if it is weakened by new betting rules. "Consolidation within our sector continues and I would also not want to see the impact of a disproportionate outcome being a factor in the name of William Hill being added to the list of companies now in foreign ownership," he said. Mr Devlin said William Hill supported a ban on gambling advertising on television before the watershed, and a levy on the industry to pay for education and treatment of problem gamblers. Shares in William Hill have been hit hard by fears that fixed-odds stakes would be cut, falling sharply last month on reports that the chancellor, Philip Hammond, would not oppose the move. William Hill shares jumped after the US Supreme Court handed down a ruling that would allow states to legalise sports betting, opening up a big potential new market to gambling companies.

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