Leicester City Premier League win is actually good for betting companies

Bookmaker William Hill said it benefited from the English Premier League results in a quarterly update released on Wednesday, despite Leicester City’s surprising title win.

It said that “gross win margins benefited from English Premier League results but were impacted by European football and Cheltenham.”

Rival Ladbrokes previously said it expected to pay out about £3 million ($4.3 million) on Leicester’s win, but its share price remained stable in the last two months.

Group net revenue for William Hill was down 3%, thanks mainly to the Cheltenham horse racing festival and European football. Gaming net revenue declined

The amount of money bet in the UK was down 2% while online net revenue declined 11%.

William Hill said it expected 2016 operating profit to fall to between £260 million and £280 million, against £291 million the year before.

CEO James Henderson admitted it had been a hard year, but overseas markets were doing well:

“It has been a tough start to the year in Online, which is being impacted by both regulatory change and a gross win margin below normalised levels for the period due to a disappointing Cheltenham festival and unfavourable European football results. Trends in recent weeks remain in line with the guidance we gave in March.

Australia is showing benefits of our improved offering and strengthening brand in the market, and the US continues to be strong.”

The Cheltenham Festival hit bookmakers hard, with Ladbrokes describing it as “the worst in living memory.”

In March William Hill’s shares dropped more than 13% following a profit warning, and are now down 20% compared to last year, according to the Financial Times.

Shares dropped 1.76% this morning as of 8:45 AM:

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