Nov 6, 2018

William Hill warns regulatory and tax changes to hit online profits

Shares in William Hill opened more than 8 per cent lower after the bookmaker warned that "Adverse regulatory and tax changes" would dent earnings from its online operations. "Adverse regulatory and tax changes will impact online profit growth in 2018 and 2019, including enhanced customer due diligence processes and an increase in remote gaming duty to 21 per cent," William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock said. "The gross effect of these is to reduce profit by £20m in 2018 and a further £25m in 2019," the group added, while also forecasting that its online business would return to profit growth from 2020. In the period from June 27 to October 23, William Hill said its online net revenues had fallen 5 per cent, while revenues from its betting shops were 4 per cent lower. "We are continuing to experience a period of significant change for our industry and have already made important changes over the past two years to transform our digital business, broaden the management team and enhance our financial flexibility ahead of key regulatory changes," Mr Bowcock said.

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