Media reports have emerged that one of the largest bookmakers in the UK – William Hill – is having talks with 34 members of its staff in Leeds. The meetings are held for the two parties to discuss possible layoffs in the operator’s high-street betting outlets.
The Yorkshire Post revealed that a spokesman for the company that currently has around 1,300 workers in Leeds, shared that the gambling operator expected to suffer the effects of significant regulatory changes imposed by the UK Government on the sector. The crackdown on the British gambling industry is set to come into effect in 2019.
As shared by the spokesman of William Hill, the bookmaker is reviewing its operating model’s efficiency. As a result, it started a consultation with 34 of its employees who have been working in the company’s IT development department in Leeds. The spokesman further explained that no final decisions have been made, as the consultation process is still ongoing.
Previously, William Hill has been one of the gambling operators who opposed the decision of the UK Government for the upcoming industry crackdown. The bookmaker claimed that the Government’s decision to slash the maximum stakes allowed at fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) would have a serious impact on its operations. According to William Hill, the significant reduction in its machine-generated revenue would force the brand to close some of its high-street betting shops and fire some employees.
William Hill Sets Eyes on US Expansion to Bolster Operations
At the same time, William Hill has been trying to bolster its gambling operations worldwide in order to offset the negative impact of the fixed-odds betting machines crackdown.
Earlier in 2018, William Hill announced a tie-up with the US casino behemoth Eldorado. The agreement came as a bold step of the British bookmaker into the flourishing US market. This has not been the only UK gambling operator who has turned to the US market in an attempt to bolster their operations by taking advantage of newly-opened sports betting market which only got legal a few months ago.
For some time now, UK gambling operators have been focused on possible expansion into the US as a way which would allow the companies to neutralise the negative impact of the UK Government’s crackdown on FOBTs. Since sports betting was made legal by the US Supreme Court several months ago, the sector has been expected to become a highly-profitable one. So far, William Hill claims to have managed to leave the widest footprint of any gambling operator on the territory of the US.
A few months ago, the UK Government revealed a decision to roll out a massive industry clampdown that would severely affect the maximum betting stake of controversial fixed-odds betting machines. As a result of the crackdown, the FOBTs are to see their maximum stakes cut from £100 to £2, which on the other hand, is expected to hurt the overall performance of local bookmakers.