Betting group William Hill has said it plans to close around 700 betting shops across the UK, with 4,500 jobs at risk.

A spokesman for the chain said of its store closure plans: "This follows the Government's decision to reduce the maximum stake on B2 gaming products to £2 on April 1, 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."

It plans to begin shutting shops by the end of the year.

The group has more than a dozen shops across Essex, including in Southend, Basildon, Colchester, Chelmsford, Clacton, Stanford le Hope and Corringham.