William Hill Shareholders Buoyed by Strong Online Performance

British bookmaker William Hill has enjoyed an “unprecedented” run of results during the first 17 weeks of 2018 to record better than expected online income.

William Hill sportsbook.

William Hill’s online sportsbook posted better than expected results during the first 17 weeks of 2018. (Image: mubaloo.com)

Despite a 4 percent drop in high street revenue, the William Hill Group’s year-on-year net revenue improved by 3 percent thanks to a jump in internet takings. Outlining its 2018 performance to April 24, the operator reported “very strong” sports betting results.

Online Revenue On the Up

According to a trading statement sent out on May 8, William Hill noted a 12 percent improvement in online revenue. Although the number of wagers was down by 8 percent, the gross win margin was better than the previous accounting period.

Thanks to the improved win margin, William Hill’s online sportsbook saw a 17 percent increase in net revenue, while casino profits were 8 percent higher. Positive results in the online arena will be welcome news ahead of the British government’s planned changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs).

With high street betting shops braced for a reduction in FOBT stakes, operators will be looking to address any future shortfalls by bolstering their online platforms.

“With the World Cup approaching, we have further enhanced the Sportsbook app loading speeds and navigation, and the gaming navigation, promotions and cross sell. We have enriched our media offering with improvements to William Hill Radio and TV, including a betting TV archive, and invested in gaming campaigns during the period for Vegas and Casino,” William Hill’s May 8 trading report notes.

William Hill Poised for Transatlantic Ascent

As we’ll as looking forward to the World Cup, CEO Philip Bowcock remained buoyant about the company’s US interests. Ahead of New Jersey’s legal appeal against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), Bowcock believes William Hill is well positioned to take advantage of any legislative changes.

Already active in states such as Nevada where sports betting is legal, the British company posted a 45 percent improvement in total net revenue during the first quarter of 2018. With wagers up by 31 percent, the brand has an established reputation in the US, which should give it an advantage over its local competitors.

Based on its latest results and future potential, William Hill’s share price was up 1.2 percent on May 8. While future results will be defined by the World Cup and the US Supreme Court, executive and shareholders alike are bullish about the operator’s place in the market moving forward.

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