British betting giant William Hill has today announced that 119 of its High Street betting shops will not re-open due to the impact COVID-19 has had on on the physical retail side of the business.
William Hill has 1,500 shops across the UK but have made today’s decision due to the belief that the industry will not return to pre-coronavirus levels for many years.
The announcement comes immediately after the company posted profits of £141m for the first six months of 2020. They also announced that they would repay £24.5m received from the UK furlough scheme.
William Hill Chief Executive Ulrik Bengtsson said: “I am delighted with William Hill’s performance in these extraordinary times. Our team has been remarkable, supporting each other and our customers throughout the pandemic, and I would like to thank them for their continuing efforts.
“The furlough scheme provided welcome and timely support, and meant we could protect the jobs of our 7,000 UK retail colleagues. Therefore, given the strength of our recovery post-lockdown, we have decided to repay the furlough funds.”