May 26, 2010 / 6:40 AM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-William Hill to end French online business

* Will end French online business after law change

* Considering applying for licence for permitted products

(Adds detail)

LONDON, May 26 (Reuters) - William Hill (WMH.L), Britain’s second-biggest bookmaker, said it would stop accepting online gambling business from clients in France following the introduction of new gambling laws in that country.

“In conjunction with the changes to the regulatory regime in France, William Hill Online is considering whether to apply for a licence to offer permitted online gambling products to French residents,” it said in a statement on Wednesday. The firm said its overall online business continued to trade in line with management expectations, adding that the impact of the current withdrawal from France is not expected to be material. Last month William Hill said it had made an encouraging start to the year and was confident of meeting full-year forecasts. [ID:nLDE63R0MM]

Shares in William Hill closed Tuesday at 176.1 pence, valuing the business at 1.23 billion pounds ($1.77 billion).

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Paul Sandle

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