Is William Hills Move a Bad Decision

Written by: Nikola Zugic on 06/08/2009 15:10
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William Hill has just announced that they are moving offshore. But bingo insiders are saying that this is bad for bingo. Bingo analysts are stating that the company’s decision of moving could have a bad impact in the online bingo market. Let’s take a lot at this news more closely and understand why bingo analysts are saying so.

William Hill’s operation of their sports book and fixed odds betting is being moved offshore to Gibraltar. It’s no surprise as they have been talking about this move for quite some time now. And now that is finally confirmed, everyone in the bingo world is buzzing about it. The news has been flying around the news for a few days now simply because of the likely effects it could cause. Well, it wasn’t really shocking news because after all, the move was an obvious step to take after Playtech’s casino businesses were incorporated into William Hill online. In fact, when William Hill’s Chief Executive, Henry Burch and his small children had relocated to Gibraltar, it was pretty obvious that they are moving William Hill as well.

While the relocation is a good move for the online bingo site looking at short term effects, it might cause long-term issues for the UK gaming industry. Let’s take a look at the good effect on William Hill. For one, they will be paying lesser taxes and at the same time, they will still be able to offer their services to the UK market under the white listing agreements implemented by the UK government back in the year 2007. And because of this, Ladbrokes is another online bingo site to most likely follow this move. After all, one cannot afford to operate on such non-level playing field for quite a long time. The bad effect is this, while the Treasury and Department for Culture, Media, and Sport allows smaller gaming operators based in Gibraltar to target the UK market, they will certainly feel the effect of bigger companies leaving the UK. When a major FTSE company such as William Hill bingo  moves offshore but still operates and targets the UK market, the Treasury will feel the loss and could move fast trying to protect its revenues. They aren’t going to be happy collecting nothing from the company’s UK customers losses.

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