William Hill: Under the hood
William Hill is now one of the most recognised and respected offline and online bookmakers. For the purposes of this article, we take a look at how it all started and how the company has maintained its great reputation through many changes in the industry over more than 80 years…
Mr William Hill sets up the betting company that takes his name in 1934. While betting shops are not yet legal, Hill keeps within the law by exploiting a loophole allowing postal wagers and betting on credit, but not cash. Betting shops become legal in 1961. William Hill is slow to enter this end of the market and it isn’t until 1966 that the company opens its first retail establishment. Mr William Hill leaves the business in 1970 and the company is then sold to Sears Holdings Ltd a year later, after the founder’s death.
The company begins acquiring existing bookmakers, and this strategy becomes a major growth driver over the next few decades. After changing hands a number of times throughout the 1980s and 1990s, William Hill is floated on the stock market in 2002.
By the late 1990s, it is clear that the internet is changing the gambling industry. William Hill becomes the first high street bookmaker to start up online. This sets the company on a path of innovation on which has stayed on ever since. As technology improves, a fall in revenue prompts William Hill to make further changes. In 2008, the company enters into two new partnerships. The first is with Orbis. This allows William Hill to take advantage of the software company’s technology and to help develop its new sportsbook.
The second is with another software giant, Playtech. As part of this agreement, the two companies form William Hill Online, of which Playtech takes a 29% stake. These developments continue William Hill pioneering attitude to the online betting industry. Fast forward to 2015 and it is clear that its desire to offer betting on many different channels is continuing. William Hill sets up a Betting Shop TV channel. This allows the company to synchronise the display of its in-shop virtual sports to its digital player-base. Punters in 2,300 shops and online and mobile sites can now view William Hill’s Betting Shop TV channel.
Unique Selling Point
One of the things that makes William Hill different is the sheer scale of its book. Punters can bet on pretty much anything via any channel. What’s more, in play and streaming is excellent. Meanwhile the number of payment options, customer service and overall experience is second to none. In addition, there doesn’t seem to be anything like (or as good as) Williamhill.com’s Tip Advisor section. This allows you to get tips from other successful punters. It’s also possible to follow other specific users’ bets, and to create your own betting profile on the site. There’s even a leaderboard, with trophies handed to the most successful tipsters.
William Hill’s radio broadcasts, podcasts, news and blogs are also very useful. Meanwhile, its mobile app is arguably the best out there. There are clearly many reasons to take advantage of our William Hill Free Bet options. Not only does the William Hill app allow you to bet on more sports than its closest competitors, but it is both easier to use and easier on the eye. So while William Hill doesn’t offer anything unique as such, many agree that it is does lot of things just that little bit better.
On the William Hill PLC website, the company says that it aims to continue expanding its operations into different channels and markets across the world. Whereas many rival operators continue to rely exclusively on software and other technology developed by third parties, William Hill looks to create its “own solutions”.
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Recent news stories
In 2009, William Hill takes part in the bidding for the first online gambling licence in India, as part of its intention to bring responsible gambling into different markets. The company now enjoys a great reputation in the developing country. In 2012, the British company expands its operations to Nevada, buying three sportsbook chains in Leroy’s, Lucky’s and the satellite operations of Club Cal Neva. The latter reflects Willian Hill’s desire to make use of different technology to expand its appeal.
The deals give the company control of 55% of the Nevada’s sportsbook locations, and 11% of its total book revenue. All three chains are rebranded under the William Hill name. A year later, William hill buys three popular Australian brands: Tom Waterhouse, Centrebet and Sportingbet, all of which take on the William Hill moniker in 2015.