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William Hill US and Golden Knights in multi-year partnership

William Hill US and the Vegas Golden Knights have forged a multi-year partnership, the first-ever between an NHL team in North America and a sports book. The two will collaborate on engaging with fans of legal betting age through various media, advertising and promotional platforms. The partnership will feature a TV visible dasherboard, in-arena signage, updated league-wide odds displayed on the in-arena Knight Tron during intermission, an away game watch party, and recognition on the LED ribbon board of the “William Hill Line Change” when the Golden Knights make a line change during the game.

William Hill US currently operates 108 race and sports books in Nevada and is the state’s leading mobile sports betting app. The Vegas Golden Knights open their 2018-19 regular season on Thursday, October 4 at T-Mobile Arena when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers. During their inaugural season last year, the Golden Knights set a new standard for on-ice performance by an expansion team, shattering several records and winning the Western Conference Championship.

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Golden Knights. We are headquartered in Las Vegas and have seen first-hand what this team has done for our community,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. “William Hill is the leader in the US sports betting market and we are proud of the fact that this is the first sponsorship agreement between a sports book and an NHL team in the country. We appreciate the leadership of Bill Foley and his Golden Knights management team in bringing a winning franchise to Las Vegas and always working to make the in-game experience the best anywhere.”

Vegas Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz commented: “We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments our fan base and provide a unique fan experience. Like the Vegas Golden Knights, William Hill US is a proud ‘Vegas Born’ organization. This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space.”
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Power Play! William Hill & IGT partner targeting US lottery betting contracts

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William Hill US and International Game Technology (IGT) have confirmed that they have entered a ‘multi-year agreement’, seeking to deliver sports betting provisions to US state licensed lottery incumbents.

The alliance sees FTSE250 William Hill partner with IGT the leading technology systems supplier for North American lotteries.

Last August, both organisations partnered to provide a ‘full-service sports betting solution’ for the state of Rhode Island through sportsbook at the Twin River and Tiverton Casinos.

Updating the market, IGT governance has disclosed that it will move to its ‘PlayShot’ sportsbook platform to US state lottery operators, offering sports betting across multiple verticals (retail, desktop, mobile).

Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO, North America commented on the partnership: “Through this unique partnership, our customers will be able to enter this new activity with total confidence and trust in the service being offered. IGT is uniquely positioned as a leader in both lottery and sports betting technologies to deliver innovative solutions that will expand the possibilities for players and for lotteries themselves in this exciting new market. By forming this partnership with William Hill, we are able to bring to our lottery customers in every state a world-class combination of technology and operational expertise.”

The partnership sees William Hill US act as sportsbook operations and management lead for US lottery contracts, offering services such as player and market management, trading and risk monitoring and sportsbook premises management.

The strategic arrangement could see William Hill significantly expand its operational and brand footprint throughout the new US market. As North America’s biggest lottery systems supplier, IGT services state licenses for states’ of Texas, California, New York and Michigan.

Backing IGT, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with IGT to address the U.S. lottery market together. William Hill’s track record as an operator globally, and our clear leadership as a sports book operator in the U.S., in particular, mean that U.S. lotteries can be confident that in choosing IGT and us together, they will be benefiting from a reliable, trustworthy, and responsibly-managed solution – maximizing revenues to each state with a quality product and service.”
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William Hill gains vital US knowledge via Gordon Wilson hiring

William Hill have announced a further strengthening of its US approach, with Gordon Wilson to take up a position on the firm’s board of directors, as an independent non-executive director, from January 2 next year.

The current President and CEO of Travelport Worldwide, Wilson is to become a member of the board’s corporate responsibility and nomination committees upon joining.

Roger Devlin, Chairman of William Hill, commented: “Gordon brings extensive experience of the development and use of proprietary technology and data at scale on a global basis.

“This, alongside his knowledge of the US market in particular, bring great value to William Hill, given our strategic priorities and focus on capturing the opportunity provided by sports betting regulation in the US.”

Travelport powers real time flight, hotel and car bookings for the global travel industry as well as providing mobile apps and technology services to airlines such as easyJet, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Delta.

The organisation is also the majority shareholder of travel payments provider eNett, of which Wilson also chairs, hailed as “the leading cross border international commercial payments business operating in the travel industry”.

Speaking of his new position Wilson stated: “It is a fascinating time to join the board of William Hill, and I look forward to bringing my experience to the table to play a part in the ongoing growth of the business.”

William Hill has also detailed that Sir Roy Gardner, senior independent non-executive director of the company, is to step down from the board of directors with effect from 20 November 2018, due to anticipated commitments.

Mark Brooker, currently non-executive director, is to step into the roll upon Gardner’s departure.

Devlin added: “We thank Roy for his extensive contribution to William Hill since joining the board in 2014, a period which had substantial change. Most recently, Roy led the board’s process to appoint a new chairman.

“We also welcome Mark Brooker to the role of senior independent non-executive director, reflecting his significant input since joining the board in April 2017.”
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William Hill sells UK racing trackside betting network

FTSE bookmaker William Hill has confirmed the sale of its on-course betting points/stalls network worth £2 million, ending its trackside presence within UK racing.

First established in 1934, William Hill has chosen to dispose its entire 82 racecourse pitch network to independent racing bookmaker Sid Hooper.

The diminishing returns of its on-course network sees William Hill prioritise its horseracing services through its racecourse betting shops and digital verticals. Furthermore, the FTSE bookmaker will retain a brand presence within UK racing, acting as lead sponsor of ITV Racing.

Under the leadership of CEO Philip Bowcock and CFO Ruth Prior, William Hill continues to execute its corporate transformation programme, prioritising group operational cost savings and US market growth opportunities.

The transformation programme has seen William Hill reduce all in-stadia wagering properties with the bookmaker offloading its Newcastle and Sunderland Greyhound tracks to Arena Racing in 2017.

William Hill becomes the latest UK retail bookmaker to terminate its on-course betting network, as Betfred and Ladbrokes ended their trackside presence in 2016.

Confirming the sale to the Racing Post, William Hill trading director Terry Pattinson said: “With a William Hill betting shop now at 41 racecourses, we have reviewed whether our rails operation continues to make commercial sense.

“Our focus now is to provide on-course customers with a full retail experience on the racecourse, so it makes sense to move away from our rails operation, hence, we have agreed a sale with Racecourse Pitches Ltd. We wish them the best of luck with their new expanded operations.”
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William Hill appoints Phil Walker as UK digital lead

FTSE250 betting group, William Hill has confirmed the appointment of Phil Walker as its new UK & Ireland Online Managing Director.

Walker was formerly Managing Director of Sports Brands at Ladbrokes Coral with responsibility for marketing services across the merged group. He joins William Hill’s senior management team from his current role as Group Chief Operating Officer of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.

Walker’s appointment to the UK Online MD role comes as William Hill finalise their acquisition of MRG – the company behind the Mr Green brand. On completion, the MRG office in Malta will act as William Hill’s international hub with Gibraltar continuing as the base for the UK and Ireland business.

With the planned restructure to be implemented early next year current Online MD Grant Williams has decided to leave the business after three years with William Hill to pursue other opportunities.

Commenting on the news Ulrik Bengtsson, Chief Digital Officer, William Hill said: “Phil comes to William Hill with a strong track record in the industry and will have a clear focus on the UK and Ireland markets moving forward and will be key to achieving our ambitions for digital growth in the coming years. We wish Grant well and thank him for his work in improving the online business over the last three years.”

Phil Walker, UK & Ireland Online Managing Director said: “It is great to be back in the industry and with one of the most trusted brands in the sector. William Hill has ambitious growth plans as it transitions from its retail roots to become more international and more digital and I am pleased to be joining the team as it embarks on this journey.”
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Charlotte Emery lands key digital role at William Hill

William Hill has confirmed a new appointment to its digital leadership team, with Charlotte Emery becoming the firm’s Global Brand and Marketing Director.

Emery, who has over 20 years’ experience in brand leadership, strategic planning and innovation, will be a key member of the senior leadership team, reporting into Ulrik Bengtsson.

She joins William Hill from British American Tobacco (BAT) where she was brand director for Kent and had previously been brand director for the Lucky Strike and Vogue brands.

Prior to BAT Charlotte also had extensive experience in the drinks industry where she was global director for strategy, planning and research before a spell in the food sector.

Commenting on the appointment Ulrik Bengtsson, Chief Digital Officer at William Hill outlined: “Charlotte is a great addition to the team and her role is a key one as we continue to expand the international reach of the business. Her extensive experience in regulated markets like tobacco and alcohol is beneficial and we look forward to her implementing our brand marketing strategy across the business.”

Charlotte Emery, Global Brand and Marketing Director, added: “William Hill is a great business with great opportunities ahead of it and I’m looking forward to making my contribution to the long term growth plans the business has embarked on.”

Yesterday the operator also confirmed the appointment of Phil Walker as its new UK & Ireland Online Managing Director. The two appointments comes as William Hill finalises its acquisition of MRG – the company behind the Mr Green brand.
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Mr Green would accelerate William Hill international growth

William Hill has laid out some of the rationale behind its £245m offer to acquire online casino group MRG, the parent company of Mr Green in its offer document to shareholders.

The company believes that the acquisition will give William Hill access to an international hub in the shape of Malta from which to drive international growth together with deeper operational expertise in new markets. It also cited the strong brands of Mr Green and Redbet which have a track record of growth across the geographic portfolio. MRG holds remote gambling licences in Denmark, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Great Britain and Ireland and expects to obtain Swedish licences by year end.

It revealed that Ulrik Bengtsson, William Hill’s Chief Digital Officer, will be responsible for leading the integration of MRG within the William Hill Group as he has a strong background in working with Nordic online gaming businesses through his time at Betsson.

MRG’s online-only business will increase the William Hill Group’s share of revenue and profits from online as well as from outside the UK, and reduce William Hill’s exposure to the UK market.

Based on the first six months 2018, the transaction increases the William Hill Group’s overall online revenues from c.42% to c.47% (excluding William Hill’s US business) with the proportion of revenues from outside the UK increasing from c.14% to c.21%. Based on Q3 2018 results, MRG’s geographic revenue mix was 40% in Western Europe, 36% in the Nordics, 21% in Central, Eastern and Southern Europe and 3% in other regions.

William Hill also believes that MRG has high growth potential, given that the company has historically delivered strong revenue growth across all the regions in which it operates (FY15–17: 23% CAGR), underpinned by resilient organic growth. Recent trading has continued to be robust with MRG revenue growth of 51% in Q3 2018 versus Q3 2017 and 2018 YTD revenue growth of 44% versus the same period in 2017.

The offer document was approved and registered by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Sw. Finansinspektionen) and made public today.

William Hill added that the completion of the Offer is subject to, inter alia, approvals from competition authorities in a number of jurisdictions. With reference to when such approvals can reasonably be expected, William Hill has decided to extend the acceptance period of the Offer by four working days. The acceptance period for the Offer commences on 10 December 2018 and ends on 17 January 2019.
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William Hill Sports Lounge welcomes first NJ customers

The New Jersey Devils and Newark’s Prudential Center hosted a high-profile ribbon cutting ceremony last Friday evening to mark the opening of the new 1,200-square-foot William Hill Sports Lounge prior to the Devils game against the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Against some seriously heavy odds of 75-1, the NJ Devils went on to win the game in overtime, making for a rousing evening’s entertainment for the local fans.

Pictured at the ceremony are New Jersey Devils Alumnus and MSG broadcaster Ken Daneyko; Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment President Hugh Weber; William Hill CEO Joe Asher; New Jersey Devils Alumnus and New Jersey Devils Hockey Network Radio Broadcaster Chico Resch; and Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment’s Adam Davis.

The new William Hill lounge features more than 32 digital, LED screens, amassing a 13.4’ by 3.78’ video wall, showcasing the world’s most popular sporting events and displaying compelling odds.

Located outside Section 18 on the Main Concourse of Newark’s Prudential Center, the William Hill Sports Lounge will be open for all Devils home games and the more than 175 concerts and special events held at the arena annually.
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David Lowden to depart role at William Hill

David Lowden, a non-executive director on the board of UK betting and gaming operator William Hill, is to leave his position with the company in March.

Lowden (pictured) has accepted a position as chairman and independent non-executive director of London-listed healthcare and communications group Huntsworth. He takes on the director role on 1 January and will become chairman of the board of Huntsworth and of its Nomination Committee on March 6.

As a consequence, Lowden is to step down from the board of William Hill on 4 March, 2019.

Roger Devlin, William Hill Chairman, said in a statement: “On behalf of the William Hill board, I would like to thank David and acknowledge his contribution and service to the board over the last seven years, in particular his chairmanship of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

“David has been a valued member of the board and I am particularly grateful for his counsel and support since I took on the role of chairman.”

A successor to Lowden as chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee will be announced in due course, the bookmaker said.
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William Hill secures all regulatory greenlights for MRG €270m acquisition

The governance of FTSE250 bookmaker William Hill Plc has this morning confirmed that it has secured approval of ‘all necessary authorities across related jurisdictions’, to complete its €270million acquisition of Stockholm-listed MRG Group.

The transaction which has been approved by MRG governance was first propositioned on 31 October 2018, with William Hill seeking to boost its European regulated markets profile, whilst further securing an established player profile within lucrative Nordic markets.

William Hill’s SEK 69 cash per share offer has been forwarded to MRG investors, who have been granted until 17 January 2019, to review and accept the takeover offer.

The FTSE bookmaker’s final SEK 2.8 billion bid represents a 49% premium on MRG’s October Stockholm closing price.

Confident of acquiring its target, last October William Hill governance announced that new Group Chief Digital Officer Ulrik Bengtsson, the former CEO of Betsson AB, would be tasked with leading the integration of MRG assets.

Closing 2018, William Hill Group CEO Philip Bowcock stated at the firm’s Capital Markets Day, that his new executive team would prioritise reshaping the legacy betting group into a ‘diverse and dynamic global gambling enterprise’.

“We will meaningfully reshape William Hill over the coming years, moving from a business that is predominantly UK-centric and land-based to being a leading gambling business that is digitally led, internationally diverse and sustainable” Bowcock detailed to investors.
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William Hill US settles content lawsuit against FanDuel

William Hill US has settled its copyright infringement lawsuit against FanDuel after the competing sportsbook operator distributed a near-identical “how to bet” guide at the Meadowlands Park Racetrack.

It has been reported that the money received as part of the settlement will be used to fund the development of creative writing programs at universities across New Jersey, as well as initiatives that tackle problem gambling.

The civil lawsuit, which has been settled for an undisclosed fee, alleged that the FanDuel guide contained diagrams illustrating betting and odds possibilities which appear to be identical to the images in the Hill’s guide.

Alongside the identical diagrams,one of the key passages in the guide featured the wording: “Alternate & reverse run lines are propositional wagers offered by William Hill on each baseball game,” suggesting that passages had simply been copied and pasted from the William Hill guide. William Hill’s customer service contact details were also found to feature in the guide.

Entire blocks of text contained in the William Hill guide feature verbatim within the FanDuel version. The fundamental difference between the two was the typeface used.

William Hill filed the case to the US District Court in New Jersey back in October. The settlement was made public on Monday, but was supposedly reached over a week ago.
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William Hill appoints Robin Terrell as corporate Audit & Risk chair

FTSE bookmaker William Hill has moved to restructure its governance executive frameworks, confirming that Robin Terrell has been promoted as new chair of the firm’s corporate Audit & Risk Management Committee.

Effective from 4 March 2019, Terrell will replace current Audit Chair David Lowden, who as previously announced will step down from the bookmaker’s board by March 2019.

A commercial retail and leisure strategy and transformation expert, Terrell is the former Chief Customer Officer of Tesco Plc (2013-2016) and Managing Director of John Lewis UK (2008-2011).

As an executive, Terrell has served in further as a governance advisor to Tesco Mobile, Lazada Group and Amara Living.

Appointed as a William Hill non-executive director in 2016, Terrell has been a member of the bookmaker’s Audit & Risk Management Committee since 2017.

William Hill enters a critical 2019, in which the FTSE enterprise will move to significantly expand its European online presence, having secured regulatory approval to acquire Stockholm-listed MRG Group this January for €270 million.

Stateside, William Hill governance has committed to undertaking major recruitment and resources drive bolstering its William Hill US division led by North America Chief Executive Joe Asher.
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William Hill calls for media review as betting faces up to new advertising demands

FTSE250 bookmaker William Hill Plc is set to review its UK media planning and buying advertising account, as the betting industry faces-up to a new marketing landscape forthcoming in 2019.

UK marketing news source CampaignLive has revealed that William Hill governance will call for an evaluation of the firm’s media planning and buying strategy, currently managed by long-term incumbent Vizeum UK.

Vizeum UK, who have served as William Hill’s lead media planning and buying agency since 2011, is reported to have committed to re-pitching for the multi £ account.

The FTSE bookmaker will review its UK ad-spend and media planning strategy ahead of betting’s commitment to enforcing the provisions of the ‘Code for Socially Responsible Advertising’, announced last December by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG).

From July 2019, the UK betting industry has voluntarily agreed to implement ‘whistle-to-whistle’ ban on all TV betting adverts during pre-watershed (9 pm) live sports programming – with the exception of horse and greyhound racing.

Further restrictions see digital broadcaster SKY UK confirm that from the beginning of the 2019/2020 English football season, only one betting/gambling related advert will be allowed to be screened per ad-break, with the new ad-policy implemented across its sports and entertainment networks.

In late 2018, William Hill moved to restructure its senior marketing leadership, confirming the appointment of former BAT Tobacco and Premier Foods executive Charlotte Emery to the strategically created role of Group Global Brand & Marketing Director.

William Hill becomes the first UK listed bookmaker to call for a media strategy review in 2019, with competitors likely to follow as betting leadership adjusts to new advertising realities in 2019.
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William Hill closes year of tough calls recording £700m losses

Changing UK gambling dynamics, see FTSE250 bookmaker William Hill Plc report operating losses of £721 million, closing its full-year 2018 accounts.

In its end-of-year statement, the bookmaker accounts for exceptional costs totalling £922 million, which include a ‘one-off’ £880 million retail impairment charge, confirmed during Q3 2018 trading, following the UK government’s ‘Triennial Review’ judgement lowering FOBTs stakes to a £2 minimum stake.

Operating within a tougher UK betting landscape, William Hill governance details that it has made the necessary adjustments for its retail portfolio to overcome the pending enforcement of £2 FOBTs stake limit, as the betting group continues to remodel its retail operations and services.

Updating investors, Philip Bowcock Group Chief Executive of William Hill stated: “2018 was a busy and decisive year for us. Key regulatory decisions in the UK and US gave us much-needed clarity to set a new five-year strategy and a goal to double profits by 2023. We have three businesses at different stages, with Online growing in the UK and diversifying internationally, Retail being remodelled in response to the new £2 stake limit, and rapid expansion in the US sports betting market. Underpinning this, we have taken a clear leadership stance around safer gambling with our Nobody Harmed ambition.”

However, further 2018 trading woes, saw William Hill’s digital momentum interrupted by a £17 million charge for failure to meet enhanced customer due-diligence checks

Supporting its digital growth ambitions, in 2019 the FTSE bookmaker will expand its digital division, incorporating the assets of Stockholm-listed MRG Group, completing its €270 million acquisition this January, as governance moves to build-up William Hill’s ‘international base and capabilities’.

International expansion is a key theme underlined throughout William Hill’s FY2018 statement, with the bookmaker detailing strong progress on its US agenda, in which it is the ‘only company operationally live in six states and a with potential access to a further 17.’

Supporting its intent on accelerating US growth prospects during 2018, William Hill records for US operating losses of £33 million, with the company accounting for stateside expansion costs of £40 million

“We have started delivering on our strategy with the expansion of our US business, being first out of the blocks in all states that have regulated sports betting, and with the acquisition of Mr Green, which will support the build-out of our international digital business. We have also put our weight behind reducing the amount of TV gambling advertising seen by under 18s through a voluntary whistle-to-whistle advertising ban before the watershed.

“We know the next few years will require careful navigating and investment, but with a clear strategy and diverse, experienced leadership teams in place we are ready to capitalise on the opportunities available to us.”
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SportCaller strengthens William Hill alliance with Golden Race

Ahead of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, free-to-play (FTP) sports-game specialist SportCaller has extended its alliance with William Hill to launch its new Golden Race.

The launch of the new game is intended to enhance player-engagement with the bookmaker’s audience.

Players can compete for a jackpot prize of up to £1m by trying to predict the outcome of a given number of runners in the featured race each day across the Cheltenham Festival.

Liam Wallwork, Commercial Director at William Hill, commented: “Having successfully showcased the potential of FTP with our popular Lucky 7 racing game, we were keen to recruit SportCaller’s services again for Cheltenham, a tentpole event for us where client retention is invariably at a premium.

“SportCaller have again delivered on a refreshing new FTP which has already proved a boon for player engagement. Jackpot games have to be winnable, otherwise our clients won’t trust or play them. So, we were thrilled to see so many enjoy the Midas touch at Kempton’s Golden Race on Wednesday.

“The game will now be the cornerstone of our marketing and advertising campaign for The Festival and beyond. In fact, we will be running the £1m Golden Race in tandem across the meeting alongside Lucky 7 for 100k-a-day. It’s by far the most generous FTP offering in the village.”

Golden Race has been adapted by SportCaller to improve retention levels across all operator platforms, as well as boosting the customer-experience during the Festival, which has traditionally shown to result in a huge pull on annual targets.

The game has since been integrated into the William Hill account architecture, and can be accessed via a centralised sign-in function on the iPhone app.

SportCaller Managing Director Cillian Barry added: “Having originated the first free-to-play jackpot game with Channel 4 Racing way back in 2014, it’s great to return to our first love ahead of Cheltenham with the next generation in horse racing FTP.

“It’s a real validation for Hills, a name so intrinsically connected with horse racing and The Festival, to have enlisted our services and we can’t wait for Golden Race to come under starter’s orders next week and for one, or more, lucky punters to bag the £1m daily jackpot!”

In order to play the game, entrants must place a £10 qualifying bet (or £5 each-way) on any UK/IRE race that same day, which then entitles the player to then participate in the Golden Race for the jaw-dropping £1m, or a consolation prize of £50,000 for forecasting the first two finishers home, if the jackpot isn’t won.
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InsiderSport: William Hill & Matchroom Boxing’s knockout combination

William Hill’s partnership with Matchroom Boxing has meant the operator has been associated with the renaissance of British heavyweight boxing, as well as the exponential rise of the Heavyweight champion of the world, Anthony Joshua.

InsiderSport Editor Joe Streeter spoke to William Hill’s Head of Media and Sponsorship Liam McKee, who underlined that the partnership with Matchroom is about far more than just branding.

How important is the Matchroom partnership, and how much does it mean to have the William Hill brand associated with some of the great moments and fighters in the sport at this time?

Liam McKee (William Hill – Head of Media & Sponsorship): The key word is partnership, this is not just a branding exercise… It’s aligned us with one of the leading boxing promoters in the world and at a time when expansion in the US is a major goal for both brands, it’s a great match.

We’ve been partnered with Matchroom now for many years, during which time British boxing – especially in the Heavyweight division – has gone through a real renaissance and come back ‘in fashion’ amongst the British public and to have been a part of this has been fantastic and helped to make us synonymous with Boxing.

Being a key part of the journey of fighters such as Anthony Joshua, who is now also a Global Ambassador for William Hill, has obviously been fantastic.

Can you tell us about some of the most successful sponsorship activations that you have had with Matchroom?

LM: To sit alongside our deal with Anthony Joshua we have created the ‘AJ Box’ which is an activation space featuring a VR training session with AJ, his belts and a punchbag machine that can be moved around the country and sit across a number of events.

We launched the ‘Box’ at the William Hill World Darts Championship and the success of the event has shown the wider appeal of AJ and boxing amongst the public:

Overall feedback for the event was highly positive with 73% rating the experience as very good. The vast majority of visitors strongly agreed that the experience was innovative fun and exciting.

The activation created a change in perceptions of William Hill. The experience significantly improved the perception of the William Hill brand among those that visited with 75% stating they felt more positive about the brand.

Will Anthony Joshua’s US expansion help William Hill grow its already strong brand presence in the States?

LM: AJ is a global superstar, someone who transcends a boxing audience. Being aligned with AJ, Matchroom and DAZN for his fight with Jarrell Miller can only help us in terms of awareness amongst the US public and strengthen our market share.

You are also a partner with IFLTV, how much does this help your brand become fully immersive in the fight week experience?

LM: It’s not just about fight week, although this is a great bonus of the partnership we have, as it helps to keep us in the conversation on a day to day basis.

The partnership works well alongside the live streaming of the Public Workout, Press Conferences and Weigh-ins and has allowed us to be targeted in the content we produce ourselves within fight week. It also provides us with access to boxing content outside of Matchroom promotions…
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William Hill requests a 50% rent cut to offset potential FOBT losses

In a bid to offset any potential revenue losses incurred through the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) ruling, William Hill has requested that its landlords reduce its rents by 50 per cent.

As reported by Property Week, an open letter was issued to 2,000 landlords across the country at the beginning of the month requesting the rent cuts, effective immediately. It comes as the bookmaker aims to avoid the closure of up to 900 of its 2,300 shops on the UK high street.

“The change in regulations will mean that many shops will see costs rise significantly at a time when revenues will decline by in excess of 50 per cent in many cases,” the company wrote in the letter.

“We are therefore asking all our landlords to help us maintain our position at William Hill as the leading gambling operator on the high street so that our shops can continue to offer a great service to our customers and help maintain the viability of our high streets.

“We can’t afford to wait for things to happen as this will simply result in the creeping closure of more and more shops.”

The new FOBT limits are set to come into play on 1 April, with the stakes slashed from £100 to £2. While a large portion of gambling has moved online and abroad for the operator, the terminals still constitute a considerable proportion of its revenues.

The news comes as the bookmaker reported a turbulent year in 2018, with operating losses of £721 m. The operator announced that it had implemented the necessary adjustments for its retail offering to overcome the upcoming enforcement of £2 FOBTs stake limit.
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Big on Boxing William Hill backs Okolie & Buatsi’s champions journey

Continuing to back British boxing talent, William Hill marketing has announced the appointments of future prospects Lawrence Okolie and Joshua Buatsi as new brand ambassadors.

Both boxers won their respective bouts last weekend at London’s Copper Box Arena, with Okolie securing the Commonwealth cruiserweight title, whilst Buatsi won the UK light-heavyweight crown.

Moving quickly up all boxing rankings, Okolie (26) and Buatsi (25) are widely considered the UK’s best prospects at becoming future world champions.

Backing Okolie and Buatsi. Liam McKee Head of Sponsorship at William Hill said: “As we saw on Saturday night, both Joshua and Lawrence have heaps of talent and there is honestly no limit to what they can achieve. We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to team up with them and we look forward to backing these guys as their stars continue to rise in the world of boxing.”

In its update, William Hill marketing further details that it will develop a series of social media documentaries, tracking the progress of Okolie and Buatsi, in their journey to the top of boxing.

The two up and coming stars are part of the 258 Management stable and join William Hill’s boxing ranks alongside World Heavyweight Champion, Anthony Joshua.

Freddie Cunningham – 258 Management
Freddie Cunningham, Managing Director at 258 Management said of the deal: “Lawrence and Joshua are heading to the very top of the sport and its vital they work with brands that can help them elevate their profile outside of the ring. William Hill have really stood out in the last few years as a market leader in the industry and one of the top commercial partners within boxing. It’s great they see the potential of two very talented fighters and want to be part of their journey. Having built a great relationship with the brand through the AJ partnership we are very confident they will add huge value to Joshua and Lawrence.”
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Historic winning Tiger Woods bet is a ‘story for the ages’

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William Hill US has paid out on the $85,000 wager placed by James Adducci on Tiger Woods to Win the 2019 US Masters at odds of 14-1. Described as a ‘story for the ages’ by CEO Joe Asher, the $1.19m payout also proved to be the firm’s biggest ever golfing loss.

Adducci placed the audacious bet – his first ever – on Woods to win the 2019 Masters Tournament on April 9, at 14/1 (+1400) odds, at the William Hill Sports Book at SLS Casino in Las Vegas which resulted in the largest golf payout in William Hill history.

To celebrate the win Asher, and Paul Hobson, General Manager of SLS, presented Adducci with a check for $1,275,000 (inclusive of the $1,190,00 payout plus the original $85,000 stake) at the William Hill Sports Book at SLS Casino on Monday this week.

In a press statement, Asher commented: “This is a story for the ages. Tiger climbs back to the top and a guy from Wisconsin, on his first sports bet ever, wins over a $1m betting on him. We congratulate both James and Tiger on their epic wins.”

“Golf was so special for my dad and I,” said Adducci. “To see Tiger win a major tournament for the first time in front of his kids meant a lot to me.”
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Kambi to power William Hill’s Swedish makeover

Issuing a short corporate statement this morning, Stockholm-listed sports betting platform supplier Kambi Group Plc has confirmed that it will provide a sportsbook vertical for William Hill’s Swedish market operations.

The FTSE betting group enters the re-regulated Swedish online gambling marketplace having acquired the assets of European online gaming group MRG Group (Mr Green) for €270 million (deal completed January 2019).

In its update, Kambi discloses that William Hill will rebrand ‘Redbet’ – a sportsbook property of MRG subsidiary Evoke Gaming, which is set to become WilliamHill.se.

“Work is well underway to align the Kambi Sportsbook with William Hill’s product requirements with an initial product launch expected to take place imminently,” details Kambi’s corporate update.

Software supplier Kambi has an existing relationship with MRG, having powered the firm’s Mr Green sports betting provisions since 2016.

In July 2018, MRG announced that it would extend its partnership with Kambi, who would become the lead sportsbook platform supplier for RedBet, a property acquired through MR Green (legacy MRG) €7 million acquisition of Evoke Gaming assets in 2017.

This morning’s announcement, which is yet to be confirmed by William Hill, would see the UK legacy betting group commit to launching a Swedish brand profile.

William Hill governance has underlined expansion in new markets as a key directive, moving the legacy bookmaker away from its dependence on the saturated UK gambling marketplace.

Restructuring its frameworks focusing on international growth in 2019, William Hill announced that its expanded digital strategy would be overseen by a new Malta-based ‘integrated team’ led by new International MD Patrick Jonker, with the division overseen by Ulrik Bengtsson as Group Chief Digital Officer.
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