Jun 16, 2020

William Hill to raise £200m to ease lockdown hit

William Hill, the UK bookmaker, is seeking to raise about £200m to mitigate the impact of the near-total shutdown of global sport on gambling revenues. Despite customers finding niche sports such as table tennis to place wagers on, revenue from bets on William Hill's website dropped by almost a quarter from March 23 until the end of April, compared with the same period last year. William Hill has focused most of its recent growth strategy on the US, where sports betting began to be legalised in some states in 2018. Although betting shops were allowed to reopen on Monday, William Hill has opened only 734 of its 1,533 shops and said it would keep all its cost reduction measures, such as scrapping its dividend and cutting salary increases and capital expenditure, in place. William Hill has benefited from a tax rebate from UK authorities after it and Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC won a £1bn legal battle over duties paid on revenues from fixed-odds betting terminals last month.

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