William Hill has recently suffered a proverbial kick in the balls thanks to a string of football results that the operator says has tarnished its impressive final quarter results for 2013.
Having been on course for a strong trading period, Hills’ profits have been hit by a £13m loss which occurred during the second week of 2014. The dramatic drop came about thanks to an abnormally high number of odds-on favourites winning their matches.
The issue was compounded by Irish gambler and former trainer Barney Curley who had links to four of Wednesday’s horse racing winners and has been known before to set up spectacular betting coups. The UK bookmaking industry as a whole was hit for what is estimated to be £2 million on the four races – an exorbitant amount for a Wednesday in January.
The bookmaker says it’s unsure whether it will be able to make up the shortfall, and has particularly suffered with the number of accumulator bets it’s recently paid out.
However, at least many of Hill’s executives should be kept sufficiently distracted from the plummeting profits by the current debate on FOBTs (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals).
On Friday 17th 2014, William Hill announced that it would be working alongside the UK Government to help address recently-aired concerns about the in-store betting machines. The operator has announced it will adhere to a new industry code, which is expected to be introduced by March 2014, which will warn players how much money they’ve spent and how long they’ve been playing on the machines. Hills also says it intends to heighten public awareness of responsible gaming in their advertising, to supplement the new code.