Betfred boss takes £10.2m dividend despite £18.1m pre-tax loss

By Caroline Byrne

British bookmaker Betfred paid a £10.2 million dividend to the family of gambling mogul Fred Done although the company reported a pre-tax loss of £18.1 million for the year-ended 24 September 2017, down from a pre-tax profit of £32.4 million the previous year.

Betfred's turnover was £634 billion for 2017, up from £579 billion in 2016, but expenses, gaming duties and internet write-downs led to the loss. Betfred bought 322 high street shops from Ladbroke and Coral during the year. 

Amounts wagered rose to £12.7 billion, up from £10.8 billion the previous year, according to Betfred’s Companies House filing on 20 June.

The financial report comes after Betfred warned that 4,500 staff face job cuts because of the British government's crackdown on Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals.

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Read more:

Betfred terminates association with British Racing

Betfred reports operating loss in latest financial results

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Done has reportedly considered filing a judicial review application in an attempt to overturn the UK's plans to place a £2 limit on the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals, down from £100, to help curb gambling addiction. The crackdown is not expected to be in force until 2020, however.

Betfred operates 1,666 betting shops and the company has warned that Britain's FOBT crackdown could force it to shut about 900 betting shops and cut thousands of staff. 

Done and his brother Peter founded the UK's biggest privately-owned bookmaker in 1967. They are estimated to be worth £1.4 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

The business includes the racing pool business Tote and Totepool, which it acquired in 2011.

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