GVC Holdings May Close 900 Shops

gvc holdings
In the latest international gambling news, new regulations were recently introduced in the United Kingdom, drastically reducing the maximum bet allowed at fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs.) The amount was dropped from £100 to just £2. This decision has had an earthshattering impact on the UK gambling industry, with many operators declaring that in order to stay afloat they would need to cut costs.

William Hill was the first to announce the closure of hundreds of land-based betting shops. Now mega-corporation GVC Holdings, owners of Coral and Ladbrokes, seems to be set on taking similar action. They declared that as many as 900 venues may be closed.

5,000 To Be Left Unemployed

The closure of the shops has not yet been confirmed, but it seems like only a financial miracle will avoid what looks to be inevitable. GVC Holdings clarified the situation, stating in a press release that the closures would take place over a period of 5 years. Additionally, the consequences of the closures were revealed; 5,000 employees would be left without work.

However steps are being taken by company to minimise the number of employees let go. They have also promised that those who are left jobless would be given generous redundancy packages.

It all seems like nothing but bad news, but GVC Holdings seems to have come out luckier than first anticipated. Initial predictions were that 1,000 shops would be closed, and that losses would total £145 million. Those predictions were later adjusted to £120 million, allowing 100 venues to stay in business. A small consolation in a broader disaster.

 A Step Too Far?

There is still no question that the closures will be an enormous hit to the company, should they go ahead. Between Coral and Ladbrokes there are 3,400 establishments under the organisation umbrella in total. Reducing that number by 900 is nothing short of devastating. A similar crushing impact already occurred at William Hill, where 700 shops were earmarked for closure, resulting in 4,500 unemployed.

As the UK gambling industry is rocked by these mass layoffs, some are already starting to question if the new regulatory laws went too far. The cut from £100 to just £2 is a giant dip, and was sure to cause the chaos now unfolding.

Comms Director Ciaran O’Brien recently took to Twitter to express this sentiment, while also listing what he felt were benefits of casino games and gambling that are often overlooked. His listed benefits included mental stimulation, social interaction, and fun by means of controlled risk. His conclusion was that politics simply tends to focus on the extreme negative cases of gambling addiction, while ignoring the positive impact otherwise created