The renowned bookmaker, Betfred, has announced a substantial increase in profits as losses from gamblers in the UK continue to mount following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. According to recently disclosed accounts at Companies House, the company reported after-tax profits of nearly £20 million ($25.6 million) for the fiscal year ending on September 25, 2022, marking a significant jump from just over £5 million ($6.4 million) the previous year.
Betfred’s Turnover Soars to £723 Million as Wagers Reach £8.8 Billion in 2022
Betfred’s turnover skyrocketed by nearly £200 million ($256.3 million) in the year leading up to September 25, 2022, reaching a staggering £723 million ($926.4 million).
Betfred’s customers alone wagered an impressive £8.8 billion ($11.3 billion) in 2022, a sharp increase from the previous year’s figure of approximately £7 billion ($9 billion). However, it fell short of the £10.1 billion ($12.9 billion) wagered in 2019, before the onset of the global health crisis.
In November 2021, Betfred‘s billionaire owners, the Done family, rewarded themselves with a dividend of £50.8 million ($65 million). The company successfully navigated the challenging circumstances through an upsurge in online gambling, allowing it to remain profitable. However, no further dividend payments were reported throughout 2022.
Betfred closed down 51 shops during the period covered by the annual accounts, resulting in a network of 1,419 locations. In 2019, the company boasted 1,578 shops. To address losses, Betfred plans to conduct ongoing evaluations of underperforming stores and consider closures where necessary.
The company incurred a significantly higher machine-gaming duty of £54 million ($69.2 million) compared to the previous year’s £31 million ($39.7 million). This increase was largely influenced by the restrictive measures imposed due to the pandemic.
Stricter Scrutiny Looms Over Online Gambling in the UK with New Measures
While many gambling firms weathered the challenges posed by COVID-19 through increased reliance on online operations, online gambling in the UK is now subject to stricter scrutiny. Earlier this year, the government announced its intention to consult on implementing new affordability checks and other measures aimed at reducing the harms associated with gambling, including addiction. These industry-opposed changes are anticipated to be enforced by the summer of next year.
In September, Betfred faced a fine of nearly £2.9 million ($3.7 million) from the UK Gambling Commission due to failures in safety checks and money-laundering controls.
The company has expressed its commitment to reviewing its policies and ensuring responsible gambling practices moving forward. In other news, Betfred has recently donated £84,000 ($107,609) to Prostate Cancer UK following the Betfred British Masters golf tournament, with a total of 42 eagles made during the competition and a hole-in-one securing additional funds. Betfred has raised almost £200,000 ($256,211) for the charity over the last three editions of the tournament, emphasizing the importance of raising awareness alongside financial contributions.