William Hill takes £26m hit over failed online betting platform

Bookmaker William Hill is having to buy in a third-party web betting platform after spending £26m in total on a failed attempt to develop its own in-house systems.

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Bookmaker William Hill is having to buy in a third-party web betting platform after spending £26m in total on a failed attempt to develop its own in-house systems.

Some reports have suggested it will use the Orbis Technology platform, which is already used by rivals including Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and the Tote, after deciding its own NextGen Technology project is doomed, but no final decision appears to have been made.

The bookmaker announced the news yesterday in a full-year trading statement. It said it would take a £22m non-cash impairment charge in its 2007 results against NextGen and absorb restructuring charges of £4m in 2008.

It said it "anticipates that the performance of the internet channel will remain challenged until the new technology solution is implemented."

Charles Scott, executive chairman, said that installing the new system would put William Hill back a year in its web development programme.

The firm will issue its preliminary full-year results on 27 February, when an update on its technology progress can be expected.

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