Tough regulatory terrain sees William Hill review Australia business

FTSE bookmaker William Hill has this morning confirmed, that it is undertaking a strategic review of its Australian business, following new government regulations on credit betting and the likely introduction of further state taxes imposed on betting firms.

Presenting its ‘unaudited 52-week trading statement’ (period ending 26 December), William Hill governance detailed strong 2017 progress, with the company expected to declare corporate profits of circa £290 million 11% up on full-year 2016 performance.

As anticipated by industry analysts, the bookmaker benefited from favourable football results recorded during the Christmas period.

The bookmaker would further highlight its corporate progress achieved under its ‘transformation programme’, with William Hill reporting stronger operating margins combined with UK and US market growth.

However, new consumer protection measures imposed by the Australian government on ‘credit betting’ have impacted the performance William Hill Australia.

Furthermore, Australian market conditions may become tougher as state lawmakers push for individual betting taxes and legislation for betting stakeholders.

Updating investors Philip Bowcock, Group CEO of William Hill Plc, commented:  “We have delivered a strong result in 2017, reflecting our focus on rejuvenating digital assets, growing the US and building an attractive omni-channel proposition. At the same time, we are continuously improving how we enable customers to gamble responsibly.”

“We are excited about the opportunities ahead in 2018 – a World Cup year – with our competitive position reasserted in the UK and with the potential for sports betting to open up in the US.”

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