William Hill says 4,500 jobs at risk as FOBT reform bites

Bookmaker says it may axe 700 shops as it reviews operations to offset £820m loss from new rules

The bookmaker William Hill could close 700 high street shops, putting 4,500 jobs at risk, as new restrictions on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) begin to hit its profits.

The firm had warned that it could shut 900 shops after reporting a loss of £820m in the first six months of the year following the decision to slash maximum stakes on FOBTs from £100 to £2.

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