JOBS in Herefordshire could be at risk after bookmaker William Hill announced the closure of around 700 betting shops.

The gambling giant has blamed a government decision to reduce the maximum stake on gaming machines for the planned closures, which will put around 4,500 jobs at risk across the country.

A company spokesperson said: "William Hill has entered into a consultation process with retail colleagues over plans to close around 700 licensed betting offices.

"This follows the Government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake on B2 gaming products to £2 on 1 April 2019.

"Since then the company has seen a significant fall in gaming machine revenues, in line with the guidance given when the Government’s decision was announced in May 2018."

The company said that they will look to apply voluntary redundancy and redeployment measures where possible.

Shop closures are likely to begin before the end of the year, throwing the future of Herefordshire's four shops into doubt.