|Online Casino operator and bookmaker William Hill has started 2007 with a bang, recording an 11 percent increase in the amount of money being laid down by punters. The company posted pre-tax profits of £292.2 million, beating forecasts of £241.5 million for the group, which has over 2,100 betting shops in the UK.|
World Cup wagering helped William Hill boost profits by 19 percent in 2006. The tournament also helped increased gross wins by 15 percent to £931.3 million in 2006 from £807.7 million the previous year. The bookmaker said it was 'realising the benefits' of the 624 betting shops it purchased from casino operator Stanley Leisure in 2005.
Although the companyís Internet poker and casino businesses suffered a 'challenging' second half after the introduction of the USís anti-Internet gambling laws in 2006, its interactive gross wins still increased by a healthy six percent to £130.5 million, while operating profits were up marginally to £61.5 million.
William Hill has also proved its commitment to its Internet gambling operations in an extended contract with software provider CryptoLogic.