William Hill’s Aussie Business Takes A Dive

Tia Winter | 23 February 2018

Just days ago in casino news, British betting and gaming giant William Hill published a trading statement revealing its full-year profit expectations for the year ended on December 26, 2017. The betting behemoth hinted in this statement that it may be poised to sell its assets in Australia, in part thanks to a much stricter iGaming regulatory regime in the country.

According to William Hill’s preliminary predictions, its annual adjusted profits for the year in review will increase by about 11% compared to its 2016 figures, reaching around £290 million in total and far exceeding analyst expectations. The bookie has noted that its strong performance has been bolstered by ‘favourable’ sports betting outcomes and positive trading results over the past weeks.

The bookmaker also revealed in its statement that its online betting business has continued to grow consistently, despite betting volumes at land-based outlets having declined. William Hill’s trading momentum also managed to retain its growth streak, both in the UK market and in the US, in which the bookie’s operations earned double-digit growth figures.

Bookie May Sell Its Aussie Assets

CEO of William Hill Philip Bowcock has commented on the results, noting that his company delivered strong growth last year. He stated that the results from the past year have reflected his company’s dedication to its online operations, US industry growth, and its continuous efforts to offer its players appealing gaming and betting solutions across a variety of channels.

Unfortunately, the bookmaker has also hinted that its Australian business has not been performing quite as well. The bookie has shared that the recent regulatory crackdown in Australia has led to much higher tax rates being imposed on offshore operators, not to mention a ban on betting credits – all of which have negatively impacted its local operations.

Credit Betting Ban Hits Firms Hard

The firm further noted that the Australian credit betting ban and the possible implementation of point-of-consumption taxes will no doubt impact its profitability. The country’s tighter iGaming laws has put extra pressure on numerous overseas gaming brands, and now William Hill is considering selling off its assets in the nation to protect itself and its profit margins.

It was in November last year that William Hill announced that it was in preliminary talks over a possible agreement between itself and Australian betting giant CrownBet. At the time, the bookie noted that there was no guarantee of a deal between itself and CrownBet, and one industry insider revealed that a deal between the two firms was unlikely, and that talks were still in their early stages.

This announcement came just days after the UK bookmaker posted its market update. It is still unclear whether or not these negotiations with CrownBet will continue, especially taking into account the fact that William Hill has now revealed intentions to dispose of its Australian assets.

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