The massive expansion of William Hill into the US has led the British gambling operator through the $1-billion barrier in a few states which have recently made sports betting legal, including Mississippi and New Jersey.
The company, which is one of the largest bookmaker in the UK, has been quickly expanding its presence in the US sports betting after the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban and liberalised the sports betting sector which was previously suspended under the provisions of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA).
The expansion has been part of the gambling operator’s efforts to compensate for its struggling performance in its home market, as regulatory crackdown has been hitting its revenues hard and the firm has also revealed that it could be forced to close almost one-third of its betting shops.
Today, William Hill announced its half-year results for the first six months of the current fiscal year, which ended on July 2nd, 2019. The company has previously revealed that it hopes to generate almost 50% of its revenues in the US gambling market, where it has already managed to position itself as a leading sports betting operator by establishing many new sportsbooks.
H1 2019 Results In Line with Preliminary Expectations, William Hill Says
Now, William Hill revealed that its H1 results are in line with the preliminary expectations during the period of transition and the first year of its new strategy.
According to the corporate news release published on the company’s website, the group net revenue of the British gambling operator increased by 1%, reaching £811.7 million. This result has been much influenced by the implementation of the Government’s crackdown on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and the new £2 stake which was imposed on them.
The company also announced that its adjusted operating profit fell by 33% to £76.2 million, also reflecting the new £2 maximum stake limit of FOBTs and the investments made by the operator in its expansion in the US market. The proposed closure of 700 betting shops of the brand in the UK, combined with exceptional charge and adjustments worth £114.3 million, led to a £63.5-million statutory loss before tax.
So far, William Hill has secured sports betting licences in eight US states which have already legalised sports betting and is close to start offering its sportsbook services in the states of Indiana and Iowa. The British sportsbook has recognised building a significant market presence in the US sports betting sector as one of its paramount priorities for strategic and operational progress.
Apart from that, William Hill has put the diversification of its online offering as another important aspect of its strategic growth over the upcoming months. It became clear that the UK net revenue generated from online operations fell by 1% due to weaker sports results year on year, as well as the impact of enhanced customer due diligence. Product improvements, however, brought a 7% increase to the UK net revenue of the operations n the second quarter.