Flutter hits out at gambling law delays as UK revenue falls for bookmakers

·1 min read
Flutter owns the Paddy Power brand  (PA Archive)
Flutter owns the Paddy Power brand (PA Archive)

Two of the biggest names in UK gambling have revealed the impact of delays to government reform plans for the industry.

Flutter, the owner of the Paddy Power, hit out at the uncertainty, as measures it has already taken ahead of the legislation came ahead of a 4% fall in revenues its UK and Ireland business.  888, which owns William Hill, reported a 25% decline in UK revenue as it too tightened its policies.

The white paper on the subject was delayed in June due to the Conservative Party’s leadership contest, the fourth postponement since the original 2019 announcement that changes were on the way. The potential measures have been a source of disagreement within the government ever since.

Peter Jackson, Flutter’s chief executive, called the delays “disappointing”, pointing out that “we’ve consistently supported” reform and “we hope for clarity as soon as possible ...there’s been uncertainty for everyone involved, and we’ve now had more than 18 months of it.”

We hope [the white paper] will be out in Q4,” he said.

Flutter has already changed aspects of its business in anticipation of tighter rules to prevent problem gambling from high-spending customers, including trialling limits on online slot machine stakes at £10 and compulsory deposit limits for all customers under the age of 25.

Group revenue at Flutter rose 11% to £3.4 billion. Earnings fell 20% to £476 million. Flutter’s shares rose 7.8% to 10165p.

888‘s overall first half profits slumped 66% to £14.4 million, sending its shares down 8% to 148p.