Betting Site William Hill Reports a Small Drop in Revenue for 2022
One of the most popular betting sites in Ireland, William Hill, has reported that a combination of factors and circumstances have resulted in a decline of its 2022 revenue. The betting giant, which took part in a multi-billion deal in July 2022 for the acquisition of all its non-US assets by betting and gaming group 888, reports that its revenue has gone down by 0.5%. Despite this, William Hill still appears to be in a stable financial position with a revenue of €1.45bn for the year.
While the provider continues to operate its betting sites under the William Hill brand, the business in Ireland, the UK, Europe, and everywhere else apart from the US is now a subsidiary of 888. The large betting group 888 specialises not only in sports betting sites such as 888sport, but is also a very popular destination for those interested in online casino, including live casino. 888casino is well-known for a large variety of slots and offers over 1,300 different games available both on traditional browsers and on the mobile app.
888 is well-known for its high standards of customer service and satisfaction, however the drop in William Hill revenue has come as another blow in what was a dramatic and less than perfect year for the company. 3 months ago, the company had to pay a record €22.2m fine to the UK Gambling Commission for historic failings in relation to social responsibility. Meanwhile, an investigation is still ongoing in the operations of the company’s betting sites in the Middle East, where the company self-reported issues with procedures surrounding its high-roller VIP accounts.
Meanwhile, William Hill has had struggles on its own. While the end of the Covid-19 pandemic and the return to normality has meant a rise in the betting provider’s retail business revenue by 52.7% (to €601.7m in the UK), the online revenue has plummeted. This has been far from ideal for William Hill especially since rival betting sites such as those owned by Entain and bet365 have prospered in 2022, while the UK branch of William Hill has recorded a 19% drop of online revenue, down to €595.8m. Both in Ireland and in the UK, William Hill is a traditionally retail betting provider with betting shops found in all the popular locations and at major sporting events. However, industry experts are concerned for the future of the bookmaker in a betting and gaming industry that is steadily transitioning from traditional retail-based betting to online betting and gaming.
One of the difficulties William Hill is facing in relation to its online betting sites, especially in the United Kingdom, is the significant tightening of controls and protective measures in relation to social responsibility, Know Your Customer Checks, and Money Laundering. The release of the White Paper of UK gambling was not a surprise, and large betting sites such as William Hill, 888sport and 888casino took steps long in advance to ensure compliance with any prospective stricter measures and regulations. The bookmaker has acknowledged that this has been one of the main factors for the decrease in revenue suffered by its online business.
William Hill’s international affairs also suffered a blow. Regulatory fines were a frequent occurrence across the board in Europe and 2022, and few betting firms managed to avoid them. In addition to this, William Hill made the difficult decision to leave the Dutch market and focus on its core betting and gaming jurisdictions. This resulted in a 23.1% drop internationally to a revenue of €248m.
Not all is doom and gloom however. William Hill has reported that its EBITDA has increased, largely thanks to the success of its retail operations. The operating loss of €36.2m the company sustained is far from fatal and can be attributed to an instance of a foreign exchange gain. If the betting operator plays its cards right, those interested in its future can bet that it will recover these loses in no time. William Hill has already taken measures to cut its operating costs in order to start stabilising and consolidating its position. Sales cost remained steady at €449m, however the company’s marketing expenses dropped by almost a third to €176.82m. Operating expenses were also successfully cut down by 6.7% to €682.9m. On the other hand, the betting giant had to spend quite a bit more on other matters, such as legal costs in relation to the acquisition by 888, with its incidental expenses rising from €116.3m to €174m.
Despite the slight revenue drop in 2022, the future is looking bright for William Hill and 888. Exciting work is ongoing to merge the betting sites of both providers into a single entity with a unified platform, which will certainly go a long way to consolidate their reach and influence in the betting and gaming world. We will follow the project with interest and report any relevant news in our blog.