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Paddy Power: William Hill on UK credit card ban hit to betting

26th February, 20:46

Shares in Paddy Power owner Flutter Entertainment -- which is set to publish annual results -- were stable despite rival William Hill suffering after it said further UK regulatory changes were likely to weigh on results this year.

Flutter is a rival of William Hill in both the UK and US.

William Hill posted annual profit at the top end of the company's expectations after favourable sporting results at the end of last year.

However, its shares fell as much as 4.5% as it said further UK betting law changes would impact its results this year.

The company's adjusted operating profit fell 37% to £147m (€175m).

The UK government last month banned the use of credit cards to place bets, following up on moves to slash maximum stakes on popular high-speed slot machines as it seeks to combat gambling addiction.

Britain's industry regulator is also considering putting limits on the amount consumers are allowed to bet online after a cross-party group of politicians called for a raft of measures to overhaul online casinos.

The gambling firm, which takes around 5% of its online UK deposits through credit cards, said it expects the ban to hit adjusted operating profits by another £5m-£10m.

The changes, and a general shift to online betting, led William Hill to close 713 stores last year and pivot towards the US, where a Supreme Court ruling lifted a federal ban on sports betting.

Source