William Hill accused of ‘cynical’ techniques over cafes serving sizzling meals in its outlets | William Hill

William Hill has been accused of deploying “cynical” techniques to maintain individuals playing after the bookmaker launched an in-store cafe promoting sizzling meals, with some objects cheaper than at McDonald’s.

At one department of the bookmaker within the Arndale buying centre in central Manchester signage marketed a “WH Cafe”, promoting meal offers, burgers and breakfast.

The promotion included a particular provide for a sausage and egg muffin at £2, considerably lower than the equal menu possibility at McDonald’s, whereas the Massive Al’s Rooster Burger is £2.50, once more less expensive than a McChicken Sandwich.

William Hill is testing the concept at 5 of its 1,048 betting outlets and stated it was a response to buyer requests reasonably than an try and maintain gamblers in outlets for longer.

Bookmakers have usually offered snacks and offered tea and low, generally freed from cost, to common punters betting on horse races or enjoying machines such because the controversial fixed-odds betting terminals.

A menu at a department of William Hill in Manchester. {Photograph}: Joel Goodman/The Guardian

Campaigners for harder controls on the playing trade stated the introduction of sizzling meals, at very low cost costs, gave the impression to be designed as a “loss chief”, a proposal that doesn’t make cash however that entices individuals to remain and spend cash on different issues.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, a recovering playing addict, the founding father of Clear Up Playing and a former adviser to Jeremy Corbyn, stated: “When the most affordable sausage and egg muffin on the excessive road is in William Hill, you begin to wonder if the meals is there as a loss chief, in an try and generate new prospects.”

The criticism comes with the playing trade below elevated scrutiny, as the federal government prepares to publish a white paper anticipated to herald a rollback of the liberalisation of playing regulation that came about below Tony Blair in 2007.

Carolyn Harris, the Labour MP who chairs a cross-party group inspecting gambling-related hurt, stated the cafes gave the impression to be an instance of the instruments utilized by betting corporations to maintain punters enjoying.

“It appears to be like like a cynical plot to maintain prospects within the bookies,” she stated. “Yet one more tactic of an trade hell bent on squeezing each pound they’ll out of consumers.”

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A spokesperson for William Hill stated: “We’re at the moment trialling WH Cafes in 5 of our 1,408 outlets within the UK, and though early suggestions from our prospects is optimistic, there aren’t any plans for an estate-wide rollout.

“The 5 outlets are licensed to offer betting companies and are registered with the related authorities to promote meals and non-alcoholic drinks.

“The WH Cafe idea was born out of buyer strategies, and it’s geared toward bettering our buyer expertise and never at growing the period of time they spend in our outlets.”

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