British bookmaker William Hill said today that its 2019 results would be in line with market expectations while it reported a slight dip in full-year adjusted operating profit, as it booked more costs to expand in the US.
UK betting companies have been pushing into the US market because of tighter regulations at home and after the US Supreme Court decided to overturn a federal ban on sports betting.
William Hill has put money into a digital launch in New Jersey and has started operations or expanded in six states, and the investments resulted in a net adjusted operating loss of £33.2m in 2018.
It also closed a "significant" number of customer accounts after it stepped up its due diligence checks and faced higher costs from a remote gaming duty that applies to gaming over the internet and telephone.
Its adjusted operating profit fell to £233.6m for the 53 weeks ended January 1 from £273.8m reported for the 52 weeks ended December 26, 2017.
On a statutory basis, the company posted a loss before tax of £721.9m, compared with a profit of £146.5m, last year.
The loss included a £882.2m non-cash write-down of its retail business after the UK government's decision to cut stakes on gambling machines to £2.
William Hill said its revenue rose 2% to £1.62 billion.