William Hill, Britain’s biggest bookmaker, reported a 5% increase in gross wins for the beginning of 2008 from its two thousand some betting shops. The biggest change was seen in the company’s over eight thousand touch screen roulette games. They were seen to improve their gross loss by 10%. Among the things attributed to the increase are later hours, an increase in machine limits and the use of multiple licenses at one location to increase big payouts. The company also offered some “free bet” promotions to help gain customers at the machines.
Hill claims that although it seems like a big profit raise after expenses such as taxes, operating costs and royalties their comparable to their competitor, Ladbrokes. After tightening regulations and a surprise casino tax operating profit had been down by 38% with a 9.7% drop in revenue but cuts and closures has stabilized out the earnings. part of these increased costs reflect the increase of horse racing media rights for the company.
A study by the Gambling commission shows that one in nine roulette players at betting shops is whats considered a “problem gambler” or prone to compulsive gambling. Sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe has asked that further review on the social impact of such machines be done, although the report would not be complete until next year.