William Hill have today announced their intention to close 109 of their British betting shops, blaming the financial effects of the new point of consumption tax.
The move comes following the March budget announcement, when the British government declared that their new tax on betting shop machines would come into effect at the end of the year.
The change was to the current tax law, but not part of British gambling laws; large companies had been avoiding paying tax by taking their business headquarters oversees.
The point of consumption tax will force companies based out of Britain to pay a 25% levy on money generated in the UK.
The company believes increased taxes on high stakes gambling machines in its betting shops are likely to cost it around £22m when they come into force next year.
The firm, who a majority of Brits use to bet on sports in the UK, said operating profit had fallen by 14% in the first quarter of 2014, hit by big payouts to gamblers on two weekends on which many of the top soccer sides had won.
As a result of the falling profits, and as a precaution to the new tax becoming implemented, William Hill has decided to close over a hundred of their betting locations.
William Hill said the closure of the betting shops would put 420 jobs at risk and result in exceptional costs of up to £24m.
William Hill has around 2,400 betting shops currently; it’s possible more closures may come after the new tax is in effect.