Jul 4, 2019

Bookmaker William Hill puts 4,500 jobs at risk with possible closures

William Hill is considering the closure of 700 shops that would put 4,500 jobs at risk as the UK bookmaker seeks to mitigate the effects of a cut in the maximum stake permitted on highly profitable fixed-odds betting terminals. The store closures will be subject to a consultation period that William Hill said was likely to last around three months and that most shops would close by the end of the year. William Hill has 2,300 out of a total of about 8,500 bookmaker shops in the UK. In its full-year results, William Hill said that the stake cut would result in an exceptional charge of £882m to the business. Chief executive Philip Bowcock added that the stake cut was directly responsible for William Hill falling to a £722m loss last year. The decision to implement a cut in the stake permitted on fixed odds betting terminals, a kind of electronic slot machine dubbed by campaigners as the "Crack cocaine of gambling", comes two days after William Hill, along with four other gambling companies, announced measures to improve their safer policies.

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