William Hill became the latest bookmaker to warn over the impact of last week’s football results as it revealed a loss of around £13m after the top seven Premier League football teams all secured victories.
The UK’s biggest bookie, which employs around 1,100 staff at offices in Leeds, said the hit last week came as it lost out to punters in its “otherwise very attractive accumulator”, comparing the result to the day in 1996 when jockey Frankie Dettori won all of his seven races in Ascot.
It cautioned there was “no certainty” it could offset the impact, but added it should benefit from buoyed confidence among punters at the start of the season and ahead of the World Cup in June.
Rival Ladbrokes has already said the Premier League wins had likely cost the betting industry between £25m and £30m, while Coral revealed it was the worst weekend in its 88-year history. In its fourth quarter update, William Hill posted strong growth with revenues from controversial fixed odds betting machines increasing significantly - up 24 per cent in the 13 weeks to December 31.
William Hill, which is led by chief executive Ralph Topping, forecast full-year earnings of around £334m, up from £330.6m in 2012, but shares fell three per cent after its poor football results last week.