William Hill plans to reopen all branches in phased approach

William Hill will gradually reopen its UK gambling shops in the second half of the year as it monitors developments in the US.

The gambling giant revealed that it would begin a “phased opening” in the second six months of the year, beginning in July.

However, it was not announced when the first stores were likely to invite customers again.

“We remain focused on player safety and increasingly use customer protection. We take care of our teams, provide as much employment as possible and we are ready to start the company as soon as Covid-19 restrictions allow, ”said Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO.

Hundreds of bookmakers have closed their doors across the country, as the government has ordered non-essential companies to remain closed to slow the spread of the corona virus.

It had a major impact on William Hill’s sales, the company announced Friday.

Total net sales decreased by 57% in the seven weeks to April 28.

The US was hardest hit with a 90% drop, while sports betting fell 86% over the period.

Many sports have canceled events entirely, leaving bettors with little to bet on.

However, some have found more obscure events, such as table tennis or football in emerging markets, causing online sports betting to fall less than expected, William Hill said.

Mr. Bengtsson said: “We responded quickly to the cancellation of sports activities and the closure of our retail property. We immediately took measures to cut costs, reduce cash outflows and minimize non-essential expenses by negotiating with our suppliers, canceling pay increases and driver bonuses, and suspending dividends. ”

He added: “Our ambition to build a digitally-led, internationally diverse business of scale proves to be beneficial during the disruption, as our international online business has performed very strongly.”

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