Uncertainty surrounds future of William Hill bookmakers in Preston, Chorley, and South Ribble

William Hill in Pall Mall, Chorley (Google Maps)
William Hill in Pall Mall, Chorley (Google Maps)

Uncertainty surrounds the future of William Hill bookmakers in Central Lancashire after the company announced it is closing 700 shops nationally.

The company has said that the closures, putting 4,500 jobs at risk across the company, have come as a result of the government’s decision in April to reduce the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2 – down from £100.

William Hill, or Hills to punters, has three betting shops in Chorley in Chapel Street, Pall Mall, and on the corner of Eaves Lane and Harpers Lane.

There are also betting shops in nearby Horwich as well as Leyland and Bamber Bridge.

In Preston there are a further six in Friargate, Meadow Street, Fishergate, Plungington Road, Ribbleton Lane, and New Hall Lane.

William Hill refused to say which of its stores are being closed and which will remain open when approached.

A spokesman said: “At this moment in time, our concern is with our colleagues and while the consultation process is taking place, we will not be revealing which shops are set to close.”

The business is looking to apply a voluntary redundancy window and redeployment measures as part of its closure plans.

Ladbrokes Coral’s parent company has also said it expects 900 of its betting shops could close over the next two years.