Ladbrokes maintains Covid Vacation Payments despite the exponential growth in online betting

Ladbrokes maintains Covid Vacation Payments despite the exponential growth in online betting

06.05.2021 0 By Andrzej Sikorski

Ladbrokes owner Entain demanded millions of pounds in cash, benefiting from the exponential increase in online betting.

Rival bookmaker William Hill paid the taxpayer a back-up, listing the increase in online revenue as one of the reasons he didn't need the money.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) disclosures reviewed by Guardian show Entain filed a claim with a value from $ 40. 5 million and £ 30 million in December and January.

He was given money to pay 14,000 workers who took leave at around 3 years of age, 000 of his major stores that were forced to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Full-Year Accounts, released last month, showed that the financial impact of the closings was outweighed by a 500 internet revenue increase in 2020. Entain ended the year unchanged at £ 3.6bn, posting a profit of £ 113.8m.

stock price ended in 2020 over 40% as investors welcomed the promising online gambling signals and the company made significant gains in the rapidly evolving, newly regulated US market.

The company also spent money on lobbying activities, applying for holiday support.

In January 2021, a month for which Entain received funding from 500 million and £ 25 million taxpayers to pay staff, the company hired CT Group - a consulting firm led by former adviser Boris Johnson and Theresa May, Lynton Crosby.

The CT Group helped Entain start a consumer group called Players Panel, which said it represented the voices of ordinary gamblers. The group publishes comments from Entain customers who say they are concerned about the prospect of draconian regulation resulting from the ongoing review of gambling regulations that may limit industry profits.

While Entain retained his vacation support, William Hill made the decision to pay it back last August, thanks to a "strong recovery" as live sports resumed and stores were allowed to reopen.

“In light of this positive trading environment, management believes the £ 24.5 million holiday funds received should be paid off, and we will not claim a job retention bonus. "

High street bookmakers have since had to shut down again due to a national blockade, but the Guardian understands that William Hill did not change his mind and continued to pay 100% workers wages.

A number of other companies that performed well during the pandemic have also returned to su pport leave. These include Ikea, Serco and the house builders Redrow, Barratt and Taylor Wimpey.

In a statement, Entain said: “The vacation program was a sensible and much welcome political intervention that has helped us, as one of the country's largest retailers, to maintain a livelihood in excess of 14,000 retail colleagues on full pay.

“While the virus is still with us and the outlook, while improving, is still far from certain, management will continue to analyze the situation. "

Entain is not the only major gambling company to have applied for a waiver despite its significant internet presence.

Done Brothers (cash bets), part of the Done Brothers' Betfred billionaires empire, claims from £ 6m to £ 12.5m during December and January. A spokesman for the company did not return a request for comment.

"These companies have made huge profits over the past year, taken directly from customer losses, and now they take from taxpayers as well," said Labor MP Carolyn Harris, who heads a bipartisan group advocating reform of gambling regulation.

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HMRC began disclosing leave requests earlier this year after the government changed the law to provide transparency to prevent fraud.

Only applications for December 2020 and January 2021 have been published so far, with the next set of disclosures expected in early May.

The Guardian previously revealed that billionaire tax refugees, the British National Party, Saudi royalty, and among the applicants were oil-rich Gulf countries.