The Anonymous Widower

William Hill Plans 700 Store Closures Putting 4,500 Jobs At Risk

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first three paragraphs.

Bookmaker William Hill has said it plans to close about 700 betting shops, which could lead to 4,500 job losses.

The firm said the move followed the government’s decision in April to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals to £2.

Since then, the company added, it had seen “a significant fall” in gaming machine revenues.

So should we protect problem gamblers from themselves or those who work in betting shops?

I should add, that my late wife was a barrister specialising in family matters. She would say that many divorces were the result of at least one of the four main additions; alcohol, drugs, gambling and tobacco.

In my view, it was an enormous mistake to allow fixed odds betting terminals into betting shops in the first place.

Anybody with a modicum of sense or knowledge of the betting industry, knows of the problems gambling can create.

The terminals were introduced in 2001, when Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Gordon Brown was Chancellor.

As Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, Phil Hammond and John McDonnell don’t look the sort to wager a lot of money on these machines, it will be interesting to see, who gets the blame for the job losses at William Hill and the additional job losses that will surely happen at other betting shop chains.


July 4, 2019 - Posted by | World | , , , ,


  1. This is very interesting. I agree that the terminals shouldnt have been in betting shops anyway. But it is my opinion that the government are losing a lot of revenue from people giving up smoking. So they are encouraging gambling as a source of revenue. Advertising of gambling is much easier than it used to be. And I know from conversations I have that the online betting sites are causing problems, particularly for women. What happens is that people – often women – are tempted by TV adverts to gamble “for free” of very cheap gambling with a chance to win what to them is big money. To a lot of young women at home with young kids sums like £50.00, or even £20.00 can seem like a fortune. And for many within a few weeks they have gambled away all the available credit on their cards, and some will have got more credit from somewhere – a new credit card, payday loans, someone else’s credit card etc because HEY – they are going to are going to get a HUGE win with the very next bet. And they borrow more and more and more so they can get rich – which is how they think. Sadly closing all those betting shops is more likely to increase gambling – online with few restrictions – rather than lessen gambling.

    Comment by Liz P | July 4, 2019 | Reply

    • Celia outlined a similar tale several times. But a lot of the worst online gambling sites are outside the jurisdiction of the UK and often controlled by US, Russian or Chinese inyerests. But was it ever any different? How many times do you read of an important person, whose father gambled it all away? My father was a successful gambler on the horses and even after his serious syroke he could still bet on the horses and win. Although my mother had to go down the shop to put the bet on! I’ve had some very successful bets, but I rarely if ever do it these days. But then I grt the same on-line buzz as gambling, by investing in Zopa. I certainly get a better teturn, than I would in a bank or building society!

      Comment by AnonW | July 4, 2019 | Reply

  2. I don’t gamble at all. The only time I tried roulette etc I enjoyed it too much; I wasn’t using my own money, and wasn’t going to try again using my own money. I occasionally played fruit machines years ago. I taught my girls the danger of gambling; they liked to go to the local bowling place, which has various low stake gaming machines. When we went I would give them 50p each for the 2p one which involved trying to push lots of other 2ps down – can’t remember the name. They both played until they had no money left. But then one day they asked if they could save to money to buy something instead. I grew up around gambling, I was playing poker because I was in school; my mother had a lot of uncles, and every family party they would get the cards out, and myself and my cousin were allowed to join in. They played for halfpennies, and at the end they split the pot between myself and my cousin. I am inclined to try Zopa though.

    Comment by Liz P | July 4, 2019 | Reply

  3. This is my first comment on your blog ANONW and I’m really sorry to hear about why you are writing it (although I’m glad that you did). I agree, the terminals shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place, although hindsight is a wonderful thing. Commentators have said that the closures would have happened anyway. Many high street stores are closure due to high rates and rents. There were to many betting shops in the first place, sometimes you get two of the same brand opposite one another in the same street.

    It’s being blamed on the terminals, but if that’s a large chunk of their business, it was a bad business. I expect it’s due to many issues, including online competition. I’d ban all advertising of gambling personally. Your wife was right.

    Keep up the good work with the blog. You aren’t alone, we share this blog journey with you.

    Comment by Lee | July 10, 2019 | Reply

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