In March 2020, the government announced a UK lockdown due to the Coronavirus pandemic, consequently, all high street betting shops closed and sporting events cancelled which led to a huge downturn in profits for bookmakers.
Reopening Of Betting Shops
William Hill announced their revenue had almost halved to 57% since the lockdown began, but on a more positive note, they are looking at slowly reopening their UK and US businesses, as live sport is to resume shortly. A staged opening of its 2,000 high street outlets will happen in the second half of the year with social distancing being the key to betting outlets reopening. William Hill have seen a loss of £110m in revenue over the space of three months.Chief Executive for William Hill Ulrik Bengtsson said, “ We remain focused on player safety employing ever more customer protection. We are taking care of our teams, securing as many employment opportunities as possible and we are ready to power up the business as soon as Covid-19 restrictions permit.”Bookies have remained closed in the UK after all major sporting fixtures were either postponed or cancelled because of the lockdown and this has had a major impact on bookmakers, including William Hill.
After the government announcement of the UK lockdown, William Hill took immediate action to save costs by reducing cash flow and minimise non-essential expenditure after talks with suppliers. They also cancelled pay rises, bonuses and dividends.William Hill are feeling optimistic with plans of football returning, as football betting accounts for nearly half of its UK business. Germany saw Bungdesliga resume play behind closed doors this weekend and horse racing also resumed in France with the UK expected to follow suit next month.