William Hill to close 700 stores affecting 4,500 staff

  • Updated
  • By Amy McDonnell
William Hill to close 700 stores

William Hill has announced plans to close around 30% (700) of its UK stores, which is estimated to affect over 4,500 employees. 

The news follows the betting company reporting an £820m loss during the first six months after the government reduced the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2. 

The bookmaker's full statement reads: "William Hill has entered into a consultation process with retail colleagues over plans to close around 700 licensed betting offices.  

"This follows the government's decision to reduce the maximum stake on B2 gaming products to £2 on 1 April 2019. Since then the company had seen a significant fall in gaming machine revenues, in line with the guidance given when the government's decision was announced in May 2018.

"A large number of redundancies is anticipated with 4,500 colleagues at risk. The group will look to apply voluntary redundancy and redeployment measures extensively and will be providing support to all colleagues throughout the process. Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, shop closures are likely to begin before the end of the year."

It's unclear which William Hill stores are affected, however, staff were informed earlier this week. 

The announcement isn't a huge shock as William Hill forecasted in its annual report that the decision would "have a significant negative impact on revenues" and put up to 900 of it's 2,300 UK stores at risk. 

William Hill wasn't alone as Betfred claimed 400 to 500 of its shops may close and Ladbrokes Coral parent company, GVC Holdings has previously stated that up to 1,000 of its betting shops were in danger.

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