Quite a bit in the press over the past few days about the downsides of reducing the stake to £2 basically along the lines of the middle class surpressing the poor. Alcohol and drugs are far more pernicious, but any crackdown there would impact on the middle classes as well as the poor. So any preventative action is off the political agenda.
And of course the unintended consequences on the high streets and the people who work there (and not just in the bookies) have been swept under the carpet by our political masters.
Because of the time delay in introducing legislation, this looks one for the long grass or a voluntary agreement to reduce the stake gradually over a period of say 10 years.
2019 results unlikely to be effected as date for change will be decided by Parliament (which is quite busy at the moment) or following a possible legal challenge. WMH are the biggest (legal) sports bookie in the US so your comments regarding Paddy Power are complete fiction. PP/B decided to stay in Australia rather than prepare for any change in legislation in America. WMH joint project with Monmore race track looks to be first off the blocks, which is why people are speculating about bid. PP/B have just had some pretty awful results and are still betting on no further legislation being forthcoming in Aus. The only good news for them was increased uptake on FOBTs.
So, Valeite, you are hoping for a bid. But where from? Paddy Power is in the strongest position because they already operate in the US market that has been liberalised by the Supreme Court judgement. Next best is GVC, owners of Coral and Ladbrokes. William Hill is the weak link because it has not been innovative and relies to heavily on the UK and FOBT's. There is no need to buy William Hill because they have nothing to offer.
I went into a William Hill betting shop last Friday. The man behind the grill told me that the Board were meeting that day to discuss which betting shops to close when the £2 limit comes in. This change is not exactly imminent but employees are very worried they could be out of a job. It should be obvious therefore that many will be looking for a new job, so in the medium term William Hill could have staffing problems. Given the need to renegotiate leases for the shops planned for closure they will not have the same resources as the competition to invest in the technology to get into the US market. Besides, it is known that US gamblers are attached to brands they trust so the only entry for European companies will be to buy a US company and add value by improving the technology there. Can you guess which company has the necessary resources? It certainly not William Hill. Get out before it implodes! You are the weakest link, goodbye.
numberbiter tells the bearish side of WMH business model but omits the bullish case the Supreme Court ruling on liberalising sports betting which is a huge opportunity($300 black market) and according the financial press WMH is likely to be a bid target . the market sensed last week that the good news outweighed the bad .i'm betting with the bulls on this one
FOBT's account for over 50% of William Hill's profits, so they will be forced to close hundreds of their betting shops. Taking into account the cost of these closures, the 2019 profits will come crashing down. Get out before 'the Market' works it all out.
"William Hill's biggest problem in recent years has been a spluttering online division. That's not the case anymore.
Extra developers have given the app a facelift, and a revamped marketing campaign, plus products like #YourOdds, have breathed new life into the brand. Online staking is up strongly and a firm hand on costs means profits are hitting a gallop.
The online changes are part of the wider goal to recruit more 'recreational' clients. These punters typically put money on at poor odds in return for a bit of a thrill.
Unfortunately, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, not usually the recreational punter's choice, still contribute around 29% of group revenues. The cap on the maximum stake for these machines is set to be slashed and that will see profits evaporate overnight. It's not yet clear when the cap will be introduced, but it's a case of when not if.
When it comes to regulation, the US makes for an interesting bright spot. At present sports betting is legal in only a handful of states, but the Supreme Court has cleared the way for gambling across the country.
William Hill has been gearing itself up to compete in the US, investing in those states were sports betting is permitted. Growth is accelerating, although from a very low base, and success on the other side of the pond would be a big prize.
It's worth bearing in mind though that the last time William Hill rolled the dice on international expansion it lost. The Australian business has now been sold, but had been a source of repeated downgrades in recent years. Having cost the group something in the region of £500m, the group will be glad to see the back of it, even at a sale price of a little over £170m.
For the time being, the shares trade on 12.5 times expected earnings, and offer a prospective yield of 4.3%. "
I invest in WMH because I used to work for Mecca (Who were taken over by WMH) .In retrospect, many of the people that I worked with then had a lot more integrity and intelligence than the people I ended up working with in the City. I bet at WMH because I see it as being an entertainment which has many advantages. I can spend an hour during lunch breaks and I can work on the basic principle that every £10 bet will return, on average, over time, £8. Most of all, I can concentrate on something different. Pretty good for two quid. I am genuinely upset that many more people than those apparent victims of FOBTs will be losing their jobs. Many of these people will be middle aged, or will have recently left school, and will not be finding employment soon. This is just as likely to destroy marriages and homes. All to make a point that the poor are too fickle to know what to do with their money. Remember your heroine, Tracey Crouch, when she said that the low paid can't afford Sky?
The only alcohol I invest in is Marstons, but that is more to do with their food. I don't have any armaments or tobacco, so wouldn't know enough about them to buy shares . My main investments are pharma based or linked and Drax, even though I am not a skinhead.
In case you haven't noticed, there are plenty of illegal things going on which the police aren't bothered about. I look forward to your comments on all motorists, because there are an awful lot of drunken drivers in North London.
I'm sure that you'll soon be campaigning against casinos, which have destroyed many a hereditary fortune as well as sucking in the naive and the simple with their immediate membership. Then there is alcohol, which has statistically destroyed far more families than FOBTS. And then we come to smoking.....which gives you tumours, even if you don't partake of tobacco products. As do cars...
What do you expect from someone who can't understand why terminating people's courses of chemotherapy, on the grounds of refusing to investigate their British nationality, is likely to be a pre-meditated death sentence?
I can't say that I am weeping any tears for the betting industry. £100 stakes on FOBTs has been a scandal going on too long. If it does indeed result in thousands of job losses so be it if thats what it takes to wipe out this gross exploitation which has impoverished many families.
The closure of some betting shops will not damage the social fabric, quite the opposite!
You may be right but people should be concerned about the line being trotted out stating that the Treasury will be recouping lost income in a "future budget". I can't see many shops being refitted or leases being renewed in the next couple of years whilst there is yet more uncertainty. Therefore, with a smaller estate to tax, there are going to have to be extreme measures just to stand still if you start at a £400M PA deficit. If there are 10,000 retail outlets remaining, doesn't that work out at £40,000 per shop? Looks like we might find out the identity of the people our board have been holding informal talks with rather quicker than originally anticipated. If Betfred go belly up, and we sell out, there will be no major British bookie left to tax directly. It was six, five years ago. With racing due to lose prize money equivalent to 50 meetings a week at Lingfield, Chelmsford, Wolverhampton, Southwell, Yarmouth etc. it can only be good news for those cheval eaters over the Channel.
£2 stake only to be introduced in 2020 according to my reading, and only then if the parliamentary timetable allows legislation to be introduced. No doubt PM will demand concessions from the fascists in her party on other more important issues that impact on all of us before putting forward the necessary Bill.
Of course no mention anywhere of the most pernicious of the gambling products that impact the poor i.e. the National Lottery. Quelle surprise.
DYOR! Interesting point in Racing Post that WMH could suddenly become a US bid target due to its previous track record in America suddenly becoming very valuable in establishing a new multi-billion Dollar industry.
Despite speculation PASPA is not a done deal, and it is even possible that a state could only license itself thus creating a monopoly. Aren't the results likely to be in June? I have no time for McVey but I would like to think that as Universal Credit is being rolled out this month and next, despite previous problems, she certainly could do without another obstruction to employment. Like it or not, British bookmakers probably provide jobs for 500,000 people if you also include everything that they fund. Much as I would like to see WMH move its centre of attention to the US, speaking as a shareholder, I wouldn't like to see half the racehorses in the UK culled and have nowhere to bet at lunchtime.
Look no further than her relationship with fellow Tory MP Philip Davies a big defender of FOBT's. If something positive happens on PASPA on Monday (or the following Monday etc) it could help mitigate a reduction to £2 - if that's what it's going to be despite Ms McVey.
Looks like a stay of execution on the objections of one guy alone :-
""A cut to the maximum stake on addictive betting machines to £2 has been delayed after a senior minister led a cabinet revolt against the plans. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport planned to announce the reduction today after winning over sceptics in the Treasury but a source close to the cabinet says Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, has strongly objected to the plan. - The Times""
"European equity markets are playing a waiting game ahead of President Trump's announcement on Iran today.Oil prices have risen inexorably over recent weeks as the market has anticipated a decision by President Trump to abandon the anti-nuclear ..."
Nothing out of the ordinary - Everyone knew that retail would be effected by 15% of fixtures being lost and the lack of winnings being re-bet. Even so, sports betting slightly disappointing, although nowhere near as bad as Paddy Power Betfair. Digital slightly better than anticipated. Would have liked more news from US but suppose that they are keeping their powder dry.
"...it has a dividend yield...that is covered twice by profit."
More great research from MF. I suppose that they have to put something in between their pieces on how Gordon Brown caused the last crash and why increasing VAT to 20% helped boost consumer spending during a recession.
"William Hill plc
Sell: 292.50 | Buy: 292.60 1.90 (0.65%)
.............Also offering a mix of a high income return and low valuation is gaming company William Hill. It has been able to put a new strategy in place, which seems to be delivering improved efficiency and overall performance.
Of course, the wider gaming industry faces a relatively uncertain outlook. The companys shares have been volatile in recent trading sessions due to fears surrounding higher taxes on gambling, as well as possible changes to fixed-odds betting terminals. There are concerns that changes to legislation could lead to reduced profitability across the industry.
While this is a potential risk to investors in William Hill, the companys valuation appears to factor this in. It has a dividend yield of 4.1% from a shareholder payout that is covered twice by profit. This suggests that its dividend is sustainable, and that there is a margin of safety on offer as a result of its valuation.
Looking ahead, a bid approach for the company would not be a major surprise. It has been the subject of takeover talks in the past, and with the wider gaming industry experiencing a period of consolidation it could be a takeover candidate. Whether this takes place or not, though, the company appears to have a sound strategy, fair valuation and a sustainable high dividend return at the present time."
Both are valid on a discussion board as they offer up information that may or may not be useful as an investment criteria - each can decide for themselves.
Frankly most opinions and facts are not that awe inspiring on a little message forum like this in terms of how you decide on investing or not.
Well it's my opinion that WMH has operated decidedly awkwardly over the past few years, however, it's a fact that I bought some shares in the fog and panic at 288 and will sit out the ex dividend day tomorrow and see if it returns in coming weeks to 310+ at which point I'll probably have sold up and moved on.
Most of my stuff is buy and hold but I sometimes take up what looks like temporarily panic sold positions.
Games - taking a more relaxed approach to others opinions and highlighted facts - both of which are welcome unless it all gets too heated and out of hand.
WMH have spent millions on their online "Old Street" project which no one mentions, despite its value dropping off the balance sheet. If I were to have a complete guess I'd suggest that they may have developed a replacement for FOBTs, that will avoid anticipated legislation. Remember that it costs a six figure sum to refit most shops so they will want a higher return on their investment than electronic one-armed bandits.
A £2 max stake, even a £10 stake, effectively kills off the Roulette and other potentially high turnover FOBT income. £2 will still generate a fair bit of income but kills a certain customer base overnight.
I heard talk of various bookmakers looking to turn premises into adult arcades, which is effectively all these machines would be after such a drop. It will be interested to see what happens to the high street and any potential reduction in property, surely there has to be a consolidation of property as they wont need as many machines and as such they wont need the square footage they now have.
It will be an interesting year for the bookmakers, their revised / tweaked business strategy and the share price.
I think that most people would consider that your comment is speculation if they are on this page. Isn't payment subject to a vote at the AGM, so can't be considered to be certain? Wouldn't people be far more interested in what bears do in woods and the religion of the Pope if you are only posting information.
The only fact is that two different papers, who have both campaigned for £2 max stakes, have published two slightly different, unattributed stories. People, other than my original comments, have now started SPECULATING as to how a tax shortfall could be overcome to satisfy the Treasury.
There is no INFORMATION at all in any of this, so what are you posting about?
In a share transaction there is a buyer and a seller. Both of them are likely to consider the transaction beneficial. The analysis of who might be right or wrong is unlikely to feature to any great extent in an investment forum. Just look at someone who started arguing with me on the SXX board who considered it to be a certainty that a share valued at 31p would be paying a 20p dividend in a few years time, once a mine had been completed. When I pointed out that the market clearly had reservations about his statement I got some nonsense about how 15 relatives had been born in Leeds. He was opposed to a rights issue to cover the second stage of constructing the mine in the first place, but wasn't quite sure why. The logic of why many people buy shares eludes me.
Tax laws are a lot more nuanced than you think. Why do you think that there is no Air Passenger Duty from Belfast, despite it being part of the UK? Everyone would fly from Dublin otherwise. Racing in Northern Ireland is run from Dublin. When there was a discrepancy in tax rates for racing between Eire and NI guess where almost all the bets turned up? Everything ended up being "harmonised". Want to guess whether there will be much difference after Brexit ? Which establishes another territory for online gambling that could be outside HMRC's direct reach.
The problem regarding government policy is that because no-one is quite sure what it is we could realistically be importing most of our food in a few years time with One Pound equalling One Euro.
There have been purchases of bookies totalling over ten billion Quid over the last few months. Someone, somewhere has the calculation of SkyBet's true value, bet then no one will whether the buyer or the seller is right or wrong for , maybe, years to come. Clearly the buyers do not share your opinions.
a) a place to examine the moral vices and virtues of various investments - whether somebody on here thinks people should be free to gamble what they like or banned it is of little interest to me
b) a place to review whether government policy ties in with ones morality or political leanings
c) a place to analyse if government policy is completely logical (I can tell you now it never will be)
When I learnt tax I was told a good bit of advice. Stop trying to think whether the tax is fair or moral and just learn the rules.
That's the same with this. We could debate morality and politics till we are blue in the face, it will make no difference.
What matters is what we think the government will do, rather than what we think they should do. Based on the reports today it appears they are going to heavily restrict stakes on FOBT and potentially increases other gaming related taxes. In my opinion, following on from this there will be pressure to do the same for betting online and for other forms of gambling.
And as I said earlier from this sprint there will be a new online multi operator self exclusion service. See gamstop. I think many will sign up and will restrict problem gamblers from excluding themselves from one site and just opening an account on another. Will in my opinion seriously damage online bookmakers.
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