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  • William Hill sends letters to landlords, seeking rent reduction after FOBT

    William Hill has reached out to around 2,000 landlords in Great Britain in hope of reducing its rents by 50%, due to the reduction in maximum stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

    The operator has mailed personal copies to each landlord, with the new FOBT limit of £2, down from £100, starting on 1 April.

    William Hill recently reported a loss of £722m ($956m) before tax for 2018, compared with a profit of £147m for the previous year. This was despite revenue rising 2% from £1.59bn to £1.62bn.

    Ciaran O’Brien, William Hill’s Director of Corporate Communications, told Gambling Insider: “The stake cut was always going to have a significant impact on the business and we think it could close up to 900 shops, but we aren’t going to close anything immediately. We’ll look at long-term customer behaviour and what we seek through mitigation, one of which will be through rent reductions. We will see what happens over the next 18 months.

    "We are trying and encourage the landlords, given the situation on the high street, that reduced rent is better than having an empty shop and this is what we will continue to discuss.”

    O’Brien declined to comment when asked what William Hill’s total cost of rent in British shops currently is or what the total would be after a 50% reduction.

  • My initial take - even as a betting man - is that we've got more betting shops than we need in the UK.

    Comment


    • Originally posted by quincunx View Post
      My initial take - even as a betting man - is that we've got more betting shops than we need in the UK.
      It's a dieing model anyway I think. 90% of TAB betting shops have closed in Australia. They never had FOBTs so it happened a lot quicker once online took over.

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      • Now that the stakes have been reduced,there might be scope for making the games more entertaining,perhaps ?

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        • Originally posted by quincunx View Post
          Now that the stakes have been reduced,there might be scope for making the games more entertaining,perhaps ?
          Combining the betting shops into other existing adult entertainment venues, like pubs, sporting clubs and bars, is what has kept them alive down here,

          I believe in the UK the idea of mixing a betting shop with food/drink etc is considered a bad idea though?

          Comment


          • Originally posted by BMR_Brad View Post

            Combining the betting shops into other existing adult entertainment venues, like pubs, sporting clubs and bars, is what has kept them alive down here,

            I believe in the UK the idea of mixing a betting shop with food/drink etc is considered a bad idea though?
            If they weren't in pubs I reckon most Aussies wouldn't go in at all except for the older die-hards. The one stand alone TAB I've been to was basically a dump. Never again! I'm surprised they haven't already tried this in the UK.

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            • Mixing betting with the sale of alcohol is frowned on over here - I'm guessing that trying to change that would stir up too much opposition.I was actually thinking of games that tried to be more entertaining - even though they were essentially about gambling.Making the machines a bit more like those in arcades.

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