The British gambling operator William Hill is no longer present in the city of Lincoln, as it closed its second betting outlet there.
Earlier this year, the gambling company has revealed that its two betting shops in Lincoln were at risk of closure by the end of the current year. Apart from that, William Hill has shared that massive lay-offs were expected nationwide, with approximately 4,500 jobs at risk of being lost.
Previously, the gambling operator has blamed the stricter policy which the British Government has been imposing on the gambling sector over the past few years. Several months ago, following lengthy discussions and uncertainties, the Government finally reduced the maximum betting stake allowed on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2. At the time when that happened, William Hill warned that the move could lead to massive shop closures and redundancies across the country and entered a consultation process with other companies, which operate in the retail gambling sector, over plans to close approximately 700 of its licensed betting outlets in the UK.
William Hill has not yet provided details about the numbers of jobs which have been lost by local employees. The betting shop which the company held on Lincoln High Street was shut in August, with a sign saying it had moved operations to Silver Street. Now, the shop on Silver Street has also closed.
William Hill Has Already Started Shutting Less Profitable Betting Outlets Across the UK
William Hill remains one of the largest British gambling companies, with over 2,200 betting outlets across the country. However, it has already started some closures of its less profitable betting shops, such as the ones in Lincoln. The fact that the two Lincoln outlets were “uneconomic” and have closed as a result of the Government’s policy to reduce the maximum betting stake on FOBTs at the beginning of April 2019 was confirmed by a spokesperson of the gambling company for a local media.
William Hill’s representative also explained that the gambling operator is utilising redeployment and employees’ voluntary redundancy where possible.
The closest betting shop of the brand to Lincoln is currently in Gainsborough’s Market Street, which is around 15 miles away.
As mentioned above, the British bookmaker has previously shared its concern with the stricter policy unveiled by the Government. At the time, the company issued a warning that the new FOBT maximum betting stake of £2 could put up to 4,500 jobs at risk, and between 700 and 900 loss-making betting shops could be closed.
The fall of the retail gambling sector in the UK has been one of the main reasons for William Hill’s increased focus on US expansion and digitalisation. The company has been already expanding its presence in the US sports betting sector and has been hoping that its US assets and online business would help it compensate for the losses generated by its brick-and-mortar betting shops on its domestic market.