UK gaming firm William Hill has announced their first-half financial results, noting that they took a huge £64 million loss during the period, due in large part to the reduction of the max bet on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) within the UK.
The maximum bet for the machines was reduced from £100 to £2 earlier this year, with the change being made in an effort to reduce gambling addiction harm. The move has already cost William Hill a reported £1 billion in revenues. If the rules had not been changed, William Hill would have stood to post a £51 million profit.
Surprisingly, despite the huge loss, the news was somewhat good for William Hill. The company's stock price actually rose after the revelation, as investors were happy that the loss wasn't worse than it is.
Commenting on the results William Hill CEO Phillip Bowcock said, "We are making good progress against the five-year strategy we outlined last year, delivering strong revenue growth in the US and other international markets and positioning William Hill well for future growth.
"In retail we took the tough decision to announce a consultation process over the proposed closure of around 700 shops to protect the long-term future of the business following the introduction of the £2 stake limit. The response of our colleagues has been incredibly professional during this difficult time and I would like to thank each and every one of them for that."