UPDATE 1-Bookmaker William Hill says chairman will not step down

(Adds details, background, shares)

Oct 24 (Reuters) - British bookmaker William Hill Plc , which last week pulled the plug on merger talks with Canadian online gambling company Amaya Inc, said its chairman Gareth Davis would not step down.

“There are no plans for Gareth to step down. He is leading the CEO search process, which is well advanced, and is working with Philip Bowcock to deliver the key priorities for the business,” a company spokesman told Reuters in an email.

The Times had reported on Sunday that the bookmaker would begin searching for a new chairman next year after current chair Davis came under attack from the company's investor over failed merger talks with the Canadian company. (

Betting companies are facing tighter regulation and higher taxes in countries such as Britain and are forced to adapt to an environment in which younger and more tech-savvy gamblers are increasingly betting online or via smartphone.

William Hill is looking increasingly isolated after European rivals Paddy Power and Betfair joined forces, while Ladbrokes Plc agreed to unite with unlisted Gala Coral.

Since the beginning of 2016, William Hill has lost more than $1 billion in market value and two top executives including its Chief Executive James Henderson.

Gareth Davis, who also chairs Wolseley Plc and DS Smith Plc, has seen William Hill walk out of talks on two potential deals in the last 3 months including a three-way merger with bingo hall operator Rank Group Plc and 888 Holdings Plc in mid-August

William Hill shares were down about 1 percent at 292.6 pence at 1126 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. Up to Friday’s close, the company had lost a little more than a quarter of its market value this year. (Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)