William Hill Online - Harm Minimisation Profit Warning


Senior Member
It was no great shock that Hills had a bad Cheltenham having gone Best Odds online and the results as they were. The surprise in their profit warning was the potential £20m-£25m in reduced revenues they are expecting thanks to the UKGC's new Time Out requirements letting players suspend their account for 24 hours, 1 week 1 month or 6 months. I expect the ability to set max spend and easier longer self exclusion in the same batch of changes are contributing to.

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Hills are about 14.5% of UK online gambling so if the same is happening with all the other firms that also have to have these player options the total reduction in revenues (presumed to be harm minimisation as it is players using tools to control their play/losses) is likely to be north of £140m fr the year. This is a very big number in terms of help to problem gamblers or harm minimisation, it is about 30%

For the industry the cost hit of the Point of Consumption Tax is £350m or so - the better player protection measures could be about 30% of that direct cost that got so much commentary. Meanwhile it is not clear if this is going to be deferred revenue, a more sustainable player base spreading the spend out more. It is based on the first few months only so about £2m to date with no time for deferred losses to come trough in later months. It is from 3000 or so people a month using it so maybe Hills has a different profile of players and that £140m is not right.

It also leads to asking what the effect of multi operator self exclusion will have in a year's time. It might be that the cost of administering the self exclusion from all UK facing sites at £1.5m a year could be peanuts compared to the money saved by problem gamblers from this sector.

Interestig stuff, I wonder when other firms will update on this?