William Hill, Ladbrokes turn sharply negative on new UK betting tax

LONDON, March 19 Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:29am EDT

LONDON, March 19 (Reuters) - UK bookmakers such as Ladbrokes and William Hill turned sharply negative on Wednesday after the UK finance minister announced a new tax on fixed-odds betting terminals.

Ladbrokes fell 5.7 percent while William Hill fell 4.4 percent in just ten minutes after George Osborne said the duty on fixed odds betting terminals would be raised to 25 percent, having traded roughly flat before the announcement.

The stocks fell to the bottom of the FTSE 350 Travel and Leisure index. (Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Tricia Wright)