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William Hill revamps Best Odds promotion with Racing Refunds

After being revealed as the most favoured bookmaker concession in a recent Horseracing Bettors Forum (HBF) survey, William Hill has announced that it will be revamping its Best Odds Guaranteed promotion.

The changes to the promotion, set to come into play on Thursday, will now mean that customers will only be able to access the concession from midnight on the day of the race.

“As of midnight tonight our Best Odds Guaranteed offering will be evolving and in future you will receive BOG only when you have placed your bet on the day. This will impact a small number of customers and will allow us to invest in a number of other offers and ‘Racing Refunds’,” said William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams.

The changes to the promotion comes as a ‘package’ alongside changes to the ‘Racing Refunds’ policy.

William Hill has since adopted its policy regarding racing refunds, now opting to pay out if a horse refuses to race, the horse remains inside the stalls after the off, as well as other occasions at the operator’s discretion where “we believe there has been an injustice (e.g. rider unseats at the start or jockey fails to weigh in)”.

It follows on from the decision made by Paddy Power last week, who had announced that punters will be able to use the promotion from 8am on race day, as opposed to the previous arrangement which meant customers could use the offer when a race is priced up.

The promotion review comes as bookmakers must refocus their resources to offset the associated costs from the controversial FOBT ruling.

Paddy Power emphasised that the decision to change their promotion was in line with their strategy to compete with others in the industry.

Meanwhile other operators such as bet365, Ladbrokes Coral and Sky Bet, who all currently offer Bog from declarations stage have not expressed any plans to alter their promotions.
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William Hill launches Swedish property – WilliamHill.se

FTSE250 betting group William Hill Plc has launched its Swedish market licensed online sportsbook property – WilliamHill.se.

As previously reported, William Hill confirmed in April that it would launch its Swedish sportsbook rebranding Redbet, the former sportsbook asset of MRG subsidiary Evoke Gaming.

In its update, William Hill details that it has completed a major directive of its post €270 million MRG acquisition plan launching WilliamHill.se, which will be operated by its new Malta igaming division.

As previously communicated, WilliamHill.se is powered by Kambi sports betting platform, which will see the UK legacy bookmaker enter the Swedish market offering ‘Bet Builder functionalities’ and localised odds on Swedish sports including trotting, Swedish football and ice hockey as well as bandy, floorball and winter sports.

Updating the media, Patrick Jonker, MD William Hill International outlined the importance of the launch, as William Hill seeks to establish its brand within the re-regulated and ultra-competitive Swedish marketplace

“This is an important milestone in William Hill’s International journey. Through fantastic teamwork between our teams in Malta, UK and Sweden we have released William Hill’s first new locally licensed offering since 2011. We are proud to offer our players a fantastic player experience with one of the strongest and most diverse Casino and Live Casino products in the market. Following this initial launch, we look forward to continue improving the product through additional features and functionalities over the coming months.”
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William Hill attributes strong revenue growth to US division

UK bookmaker, William Hill, has reported that its strong momentum across the US market has contributed to a rise in revenues for the group as detailed in a trading update for the unaudited 17 weeks to 30 April 2019.

The bookmaker reported that its total net revenues for US operations jumped by 48 per cent in Q1, with operations now live across seven different states.

Philip Bowcock, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Just one year on since PASPA was overturned William Hill has doubled the sports wagering it handles in the US, seen record performances at the Super Bowl and March Madness, is live in all seven states to have allowed sports betting and expects to enter further states soon, with Indiana and Iowa the most recent states to pass bills to legalise sports betting.”

In addition to a growth in net revenues, William Hill has also reported a 65 per cent jump in the amounts wagered at sportsbooks across the US.

The statement details: “Our US business delivered excellent growth in the period, with amounts wagered directly with William Hill up 65% (local currency +55%) and total net revenue up 48% (local currency +39%).

“Total wagering handled by William Hill US, including operations where William Hill is a service provider or a direct operator, was 99% higher than the same period in 2018 in local currency.”

William Hill, overall, reported that it had processed in excess of £8bn in sports wagers during 2018, and that the company had continually pushed for sustained growth and market share across the United States.

During Q1, William Hill US recognised that its recent strategic partnerships with the National Hockey League (NHL) and Eldorado Resorts are expected to deliver a continual strong momentum for the remainder of 2019.
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William Hill appoints fresh-faced Wavemaker as lead UK media agency

UK marketing news source CampaignLive has reported that FTSE betting group William Hill Plc has awarded its UK media buying and planning account to the London advertising agency Wavemaker Global.

Wavemaker is a subsidiary agency of WPP Group and will replace long-term incumbent Vizeum (Dentsu Aegis Network), as William Hill’s lead UK media planning and buying agency.

The yet to be confirmed update, sees William Hill close its ‘media review’, which the operator called for in February of this year, preparing for upcoming UK advertising demands placed on all gambling/betting incumbents.

The bookmaker’s agency review is reported to have been led by new Global Brand & Marketing Director Charlotte Emery, who joined the FTSE firm last November as part of William Hill’s executive team restructure.

Wavemaker is reported to have beaten incumbent Vizeum and Havas Group Media, in a three-way pitch to secure the multi-million £ William Hill media planning account.

Launched in 2018, Wavemaker is a new ‘audience engagement and activation focused‘ media planning subsidiary of WPP Group, formed through the merger of MEC and Maxus agencies. To date, Wavemaker has held no prior gambling advertising arrangements.

Preparing to meet new marketing demands, forced on UK operators, William Hill becomes that latest industry incumbent to have undertaken a review of its advertising set-up and strategy, following reviews by Betway and Kindred Group in 2018.

Last March, The Stars Group Inc confirmed that it had sanctioned a UK media review, as part of its post-Sky Betting & Gaming acquisition alignment.
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William Hill stumbles on reports of failed Caesars Entertainment takeover bid

City analysts suggest that news of the canceled deal could have been leaked to put the bookmaker in play and bring other buyers out of the shadows

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William Hill PLC (LON:WMH) shares briefly bounced off their all-time low on Monday after reports that the bookmaker has held merger talks with Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR).

Negotiations were held last summer with the US casino group about a potential £3bn takeover by Caesars for a combination of cash and shares, the Sunday Times reported.

READ: William Hill says full-year outlook in line with expectations
However, by August the FTSE 250 bookie and the Caesars Palace casino and hotel owner had failed to come to an agreement over the takeover price and the talks were nixed.

William Hill’s valuation has since slumped to just under £1.2bn, not helped by a huge write-down of its UK betting shops, as its shares have more than halved from just under 300p at the start of August to finish last week at just over 134p.

Under chief executive Philip Bowcock, Willian Hill fought off takeover bids from rivals Rank and 888 in 2016, before an ambitious attempt to merge with Canada’s Amaya failed.

Caesars, which is valued at almost $5.9bn on Wall Street, has been put under pressure to pursue deals by activist investor Carl Icahn, amid falling sales in Las Vegas last year.

In March, newswires reported that Caesars was in talks with Eldorado Resorts Inc (NASDAQ:ERI) about a possible merger.

City analysts contended that news of the aborted William Hill talks could have been leaked to put the bookmaker in play and bring other buyers out of the shadows, with the Telegraph quoting one suggestion that an enlarged Eldorado-Caesars could take the “logical next step” of snapping up the UK outfit for its expertise in online gambling.

William Hill shares spiked as high as 140p on Monday morning but were soon back in the red, down almost 2% to 131.45p.
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William Hill seeks new creative lead ending Bark&Bite affair

FTSE bookmaker William Hill Plc is reported to have ended its seven-year relationship with Leeds based marketing agency Bark&Bite as creative lead.

Bark&Bite, Managing Director Christian Knowles-Fitton has confirmed to business news source Prolific North that the agency will no longer maintain William Hill’s creative marketing accounts.

Moving forward, William Hill leadership is expected to call for an ‘agency pitch’, reviewing its UK creative marketing strategy and output.

A key corporate directive William Hill has moved to revamp its marketing operations and structures, under the guidance of new Global Brand & Marketing Director Charlotte Emery.

Acting as group marketing lead, Charlotte Emery has called for a review of William Hill’s marketing agency set-up, as betting incumbents prepare for new UK advertising laws inbound this summer.

This May, William Hill announced that it had appointed WPP subsidiary agency WaveMaker Global as UK media planning and buying lead agency.

In previous investor communications, William Hill Group Chief Executive Philip Bowcock has underlined the importance of marketing as a key dynamic of the bookmaker’s mass market strategy.
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William Hill seeks new European appeal with 72andSunny Amsterdam

William Hill marketing has disclosed that Amsterdam agency 72andSunny has won its ‘four-way pitch’, becoming the creative lead of its £ multi-million advertising account.

Issuing a corporate update, William Hill confirms the appointment of 72andSunny as ‘Lead European creative agency’, working on a remit of establishing William Hill betting and gaming brands as ‘first choice in the gambling category’.

This month, former William Hill creative advertising incumbent Bark&Bite Leeds, announced that it had ended its seven-year relationship leading the FTSE bookmaker’s creative strategy.

The appointment of 72andSunny forms part of William Hill’s group-wide marketing restructure, being overseen by new Global Brand & Marketing Director Charlotte Emery.

The marketing overhaul will see 72andSunny work alongside WPP subsidiary WaveMaker Global as William Hill’s new media planning and buying lead agency.

Charlotte Emery, Global Brand and Marketing Director at William Hill, said, “It’s an exciting new chapter for William Hill. Our industry is changing at a rapid pace and it is important for us to be at the forefront of the conversation. To achieve our new approach, we needed a new creative partner and 72andSunny best illustrated their understanding of our brand and how we can create an emotional connection with our target audience in a fun and responsible way.”

Moving forward, 72andSunny will build upon William Hill’s new brand-led outlook following on from their recent brand campaign – which featured Hill’s Global Brand Ambassador Anthony Joshua.

Founded in 2004, 72andSunny is a specialist brand and creative agency, which develops campaigns for high-spend advertisers, seeking to engage with broader audiences.

72andSunny has led creative development and concepts for Google Pixel3, Lynx AXE, the NFL and Adidas’ Creators Unite

Stephanie Feeney, Executive Strategy Director and Partner at 72andSunny Amsterdam, said: “The team at William Hill set a pitch brief with a rich strategic territory – a gift, really. The work that we’ve come to together has a real everyday poetry to it; at once elevating the brand above the clutter of the category, while also staying grounded in real life.”

The creative pitch was run in-house by William Hill’s marketing and procurement teams.
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William Hill appoints ‘risk expert’ Jane Hanson as a corporate advisor

FTSE bookmaker William Hill Plc has moved to strengthen its governance and corporate advisory confirming the appointment of Jane Hanson as a new Independent Non-Executive Director.

An expert in risk management and corporate governance strategies for ‘highly regulated industries’, Hanson will join William Hill’s board on 1 July 2019, becoming a member of the FTSE firm’s nomination and audit committees.

A former executive of KPMG and AVIVA, Hanson is the current Chair of financial services consumer protection scheme, the Reclaim Fund LTD.

Furthermore, Hanson sits on the Risk Committee of insurance provider Direct Line Insurance Group Plc as a Non-Executive Director.

Moving forward, Hanson will advise William Hill governance and leadership on corporate transitions and management of wider stakeholders, amid the industry’s changing regulatory landscape.

Confirming the governance appointment, Roger Devlin Chairman of William Hill commented:

“We are delighted to welcome Jane to the Board of William Hill. Jane’s proven NED experience working at Board level in FTSE, regulated and complex organizations will be invaluable to William Hill and makes her a great addition to the Board. I am also delighted that with Jane’s appointment, female representation on the Board is now at 44%, which is well beyond the target level set in the Hampton Alexander review of 33% by the end of 2020.”
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William Hill takes on ‘Segunda gamble’ amid imminent Spanish shake-up

William Hill Plc will significantly expand its Spanish market coverage and profile, as Spanish news reports that the FTSE bookmaker will sponsor seven La Liga 2 (Segunda) football clubs.

This weekend, the management of UD Las Palmas and UD Almeria revealed that they had reached an agreement with the UK betting group becoming their lead betting partner for the upcoming 2019/2020 La Liga 2 season.

In their update, Las Palmas and Almeria management disclosed that William Hill had signed partnership agreements with a raft of Segunda teams including Real Zaragoza, Extremadura UD, AD Alcorcon, Elche CF and Albacete Balompie.

The UK betting group has chosen not to specify its marketing arrangements with the Spanish football clubs, but details that it will maintain an ‘enormous enthusiasm’ in the ‘professional challenge’ of becoming the standard benchmark for Segunda betting partnerships.

William Hill undertakes its biggest Spanish market commitment to date, as the FTSE enterprise advances its ‘global profile’ across multiple European jurisdictions, seeking to diversify its revenue make-up beyond UK shores.

Nevertheless, William Hill ramps up its Spanish brand profile, as the PSOE minority government stalls on forming a ‘cooperation of government’ with left-wing counterparts.

Two months on from the Spanish General Election, PSOE has promised to shake-up Spanish gambling laws focused on revamping Spain’s advertising and sponsorship codes for betting.

Furthermore, a number of Spanish autonomous governments have moved to implement new regional gambling restrictions as a ‘civic duty’ restricting betting promotions.

This June, under pressure Spanish gambling regulator the DGOJ published its ‘2022 strategy’, outlining that it would develop a regulatory framework promoting social responsibility and the development of safer gambling products and services.
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William Hill confirms 700 shops to close following FOBT losses

UK bookmaker William Hill has confirmed that it will be closing approximately 700 betting shops, set to impact 4,500 members of staff, following the introduction of the controversial FOBT legislation on April 1.

As detailed in a media statement, William Hill had entered into a consultation process with its retail colleagues.

The statement explained: “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 impact of the decision is due to be felt across the UK and Irish racing industries, with the closure of shops set to result in a loss of up to £21 million in revenue for media rights holders.

The statement continued: “A large number of redundancies is anticipated with 4,500 colleagues at risk. The Group will look to apply voluntary redundancy and redeployment measures extensively and will be providing support to all colleagues throughout the process.

“Subject to the outcome of the consultation process, shop closures are likely to begin before the end of the year.”

According to the UK Gambling Commission, William Hill currently owns 2,300 shops and employs 12,500 people. Earlier in the year, the bookmaker had recorded a seven percent drop in retail revenues.

At the time of the FOBT legislation being discussed, the Association of British Bookmakers (AB😎 warned that the move would lead to a number of job losses across the UK betting industry.

Earlier in the year, Ladbrokes had revealed that it had identified up to 1,000 betting shops that could face closure this year. The bookmaker explained that it would have to make cuts from ‘from Ayrshire to Essex’, at an estimated cost of approximately £50,000 per shop closure.
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William Hill closures ‘devastating’ says Betting Shop Workers Union

Issuing its response to the announcement that William Hill could be closing 700 of its betting shops, the Betting Shop Workers Union (BSWU) has described the news as ‘devastating.’

As announced yesterday, William Hill confirmed that it is taking part in a consultation with its retail counterparts over the possibility that the bookmaker could be shutting a large portion of its shops, with ‘a large number of redundancies is anticipated.’

Commenting on the news, Tom Blenkinsop, Operations Director at the BSWU, said: “This is devastating news for thousands of betting shop workers. We will be advising our members through the consultation process.

William Hill should immediately engage with Community, so that their staff get additional support and advice during the consultation and all measures can be taken to minimise redundancies and find alternatives.

“The Government also has a role to play and must look at what support they can offer to workers whose jobs are threatened as a consequence of changes to the law around FOBTs.

“Betting shops provide an important source of local employment and many of our members have served the company loyally for years. Workers don’t deserve to be the victims of the changes happening in the industry as a result of either government policy or the significant shift towards online gambling.”

A media statement on behalf of the bookmaker yesterday explained that the closures have been attributed to the legislation introduced over the Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). It stated: “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.”
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William Hill strikes first tribal sportsbook agreement in New Mexico

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William Hill’s sportsbook at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in New Mexico has opened its doors to sports fans and visitors. Members of the Mescalero Apache Tribe and Holly Holm participated in the grand opening celebrations which included a ribbon cutting ceremony and the first ceremonial bet placed in the sportsbook.

The Mescalero Apache Tribe President Arthur “Butch” Blazer and Vice President Gabe Aguilar each bet $100 for the Cowboys to win the super bowl. Holly Holm placed a $100 bet on Cyborg to beat Spencer in UFC 240.

The new sportsbook is located inside the casino between the Big Game Sports Bar and the Apache Spirit Club. Featuring 12 43-inch televisions and high-top seating, this newly renovated space will provide guests with a high-energy place to gather with friends and enjoy the upcoming football season as well as their favorite teams year-round.

This partnership marks the first sportsbook powered by William Hill in New Mexico and is the first tribal agreement for William Hill outside of Nevada. Bettors also will have access to the bookmaker’s wagering technology, kiosks and InPlay wagering menu.

Speaking in an earlier statement in advance of the opening David Grolman, President of Retail for William Hill US, said: “Working with the Mescalero Apache Tribe and the National Indian Gaming Commission on this partnership agreement was important to us. Inn of the Mountain Gods is one of the premier resorts and casinos in the southwest and together we plan to bring a first-class experience to sports fans in the region.”
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William Hill embarks on transitional journey posting group losses of £63m

Publishing its interim 2019 results (26-week period ending 2 July) FTSE250 William Hill Plc details solid progress on the firm’s five-year business transformation strategy (announced November 2018) focusing on the three core areas of digital expansion, US market growth and retail realignment.

Updating investors, William Hill stated that H1 2019 trading reflected the ‘different challenges and opportunities’ that the group is trying to address during a period of strategic transition.

Philip Bowcock, CEO of William Hill, commented: “We are making good progress against the five-year strategy we outlined last year, delivering strong revenue growth in the US and other international markets and positioning William Hill well for future growth.

The FTSE betting group records a 1% increase in group revenues to £811 million (H12018: £802m) impacted by the UK’s £2 stake limit on FOBTs machines and costs attached to the firm’s acquisition of Mr Green (transaction closed February 2019).

The trading period saw William Hill book exceptional items and adjustment costs totalling £114 million, of which the bookmaker attributes £97 million to retail ‘mitigation measures’, which include the proposed closure of 700 betting shops.

In addition, the betting group reports a further capital expenditure of £60 million on technology investments supporting its US market growth strategy.

“We continue to expand rapidly in the US, both in Nevada and in the new states, with over $1bn wagered with us in the first half. We are now live in eight states and will expand into at least two more states in H2.” Bowcock details on US market initiatives.

Detailing digital oversight, William Hill announced that its enlarged online business has overcome its period of enhanced customer due diligence measures, ‘with year-on-year impacts set to come to an end’.

“Online International revenues have grown strongly, up 66 per cent, with the acquisition of Mr Green. We are becoming more diversified with non-UK markets now contributing a third of online’s revenues, up from just 24 per cent last year. In the UK, performance has improved through the half, up seven per cent in Q2, as we manage the tax and regulatory impacts ” Bowcock informed the market.

Closing a busy period of high activity and costs, William Hill declared ‘adjusted’ group operating profits of £76 million, down 33% on H1 2018’s £113 million.

The firm added: “We continue to make important progress in collaborating with other major operators on a package of measures to enhance safer gambling and address public concerns about gambling. The second of these, following the voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on advertising, was a commitment to increase our funding for research, education and treatment and was formally announced by the Secretary of State for the Department of Communications, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in the House of Commons on 2 July.

“This was also welcomed by Tom Watson as Shadow Secretary of State and the Gambling Commission. We do not see this as the end of our responsibilities and we continue to work with the industry to develop additional measures to protect our customers, in line with our ambition that nobody is harmed by gambling.”

William Hill – Interim H1 2019 – Performance Overview

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William Hill continues ‘Segunda gamble’ by sponsoring Real Oviedo

William Hill has added Real Oviedo to its La Liga 2 (Segunda) sponsorship portfolio, as the FTSE bookmaker continues to advance its Spanish market profile.

A week before the start of the 2019/2020 Spanish football season, Real Oviedo leadership has announced the British bookmaker as a ‘principal partner’, with its brand set to be displayed across the Asturian football club’s matchday shorts.

A busy summer has seen William Hill marketing significantly expand its Spanish market profile securing seven Segunda football club sponsorships / betting partnerships.

The agreement sees shirt sponsorless Real Oviedo join Las Palmas, Almeria, Real Zaragoza, Extremadura UD, AD Alcorcon, Elche CF and Albacete Balompie as part of the bookmaker’s takeover of Segunda marketing.

In previous statements, William Hill marketing has detailed that it seeks to become the benchmark for Segunda sponsorships, as the bookmaker moves to accelerate its presence across multiple European markets – a core directive of its corporate transformation strategy.

However, William Hill increases its Spanish marketing profile as the PSEO minority government confirms that it will accept all recommendations put forward by Spain’s Civic Ombudsman to ban all forms of gambling advertising.

Last week, Spanish news sources reported that the PSOE government had begun drafting a ‘Royal Decree’ based on the Ombudsman’s recommendation to enforce the ‘strictest gambling advertising code’ possible.

In its mandate, the Spanish government has been advised to form specific legislative frameworks for differentiating digital services from traditional forms of advertising utilised by betting operators.

As yet, there remains no clear insight on the government’s stance with regards to sports sponsorship and betting partnerships.
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William Hill looks to launch its first sportsbook in Indiana

William Hill will launch its 143rd US sportsbook at Eldorado Resorts’ Tropicana Evansville in September, pending approval by the Indiana Gaming Commission. A remodel of the site’s existing 421 Lounge, the facility is slated for an opening in time for football season and marks the first Indiana sportsbook for the bookmaker.

Bettors will have a grandstand view of the sporting action via a 16’ x 9’ ft. video wall, 10 65-inch viewing monitors, and 12 odds boards. The sportsbook will integrate 421’s existing bar while repurposing the lounge to create “the ultimate sports betting experience” for fans. It will be located just off the casino floor, steps away from the entrance to the hotel and Downtown Evansville’s only 24-hour restaurant, The DELI.

“We are excited to continue expanding our relationship with Eldorado Resorts and introducing William Hill to sports fans in Indiana,” said David Grolman, President of Retail Operations for William Hill US. “Tropicana Evansville is a great destination, nestled between Nashville, Louisville and St. Louis, and we look forward to serving guests with our 85 years of sports betting experience.”

Glenn Carano, Senior Vice President of Operations, East Region at Eldorado Resorts, commented: “We are delighted to have William Hill as the official sports book operator at Tropicana Evansville. They are a leader in the sports betting industry and bring years of experience with them. We have no doubt that William Hill’s industry-leading wagering menu and technology will enhance the guest experience which is always the priority at all Eldorado Resorts properties across the country.”
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William Hill scores official partnership with NBA

William Hill has secured a new partnership with The National Basketball Association (NBA) after being named as a ‘Proud Partner and an Authorized Sports Betting Operator of the NBA in the United States’.

Under the terms of the new agreement, William Hill will gain access to official NBA betting data as well as league marks across its mobile platforms and in its US sportsbooks.

“We are proud of this creative partnership that benefits our customers and our partners nationwide while promoting legalized wagering on NBA events,” said Dan Shapiro, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development of William Hill US. “The NBA has been a leader in recognizing the benefits of a legal sports betting market.

“We expect this to be the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the league and its teams.”

Part of the deal will also address the issue of potential match-fixing, although there appears to be just a commitment at this point rather than any actual detail as to how to protect both parties.

The companies stated: “Throughout the partnership, William Hill and the NBA will collaborate on best-in-class practices to protect the integrity of NBA games.

The bookmaker is due to be promoted across the NBA’s digital assets including NBA.com, the NBA app, and the NBA’s social media platforms, further boosting its exposure across the US market.

William Hill is a globally respected brand that has set an early standard for sports betting in the U.S. market,” said Scott Kaufman-Ross, Senior Vice President, Head of Fantasy & Gaming, NBA.

“We are delighted to partner with William Hill as they grow their business throughout the U.S. and are excited to work together to provide a world-class experience to our fans.”
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William Hill US claims first ever arena sportsbook in Monumental deal

Sportsbook operator William Hill US and Monumental Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, and Washington Mystics, have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership for sports betting in Washington DC.

Subject to the receipt of all required regulatory approvals the partnership will include the creation of the first sports book at a US professional sports venue, with the development of a William Hill Sports Book at Capital One Arena. William Hill also will become the exclusive sports betting partner of the Washington Wizards, Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Monumental Sports & Entertainment.

Ted Leonsis, Monumental Chairman, Founder, Principal Partner and CEO, explained: “We are excited to partner with William Hill, the industry leader in sports betting, to become the first professional sports arena in the US to feature a sportsbook. Through this partnership, we are thrilled to enhance the fan experience with innovative gaming opportunities and transformational dining and culinary options not just on event days, but year-round.

“Our partnership with William Hill compliments our vision of making our arena the premier sports and entertainment destination in Washington DC.”

William Hill CEO Joe Asher said: “This sports book will be a flagship venue for the industry and will serve the sports fans of the Washington DC area unlike any other. Partnering with Ted Leonsis and the entire Monumental team was ideal. They share our vision and principles for bringing innovative sports betting opportunities to fans in a responsible way. This deal sets a new benchmark for how the industry will serve fans and how fans engage in sports.”

Once approved, the sports book will be operated by William Hill, with premium betting facilities and a full-service food and beverage offering. The book, which will span multiple floors, will be open daily, year-round, and accessible to the public from F Street. During game days and certain in-arena events, ticketed and non-ticketed fans will have access to the sports book.

The sports book also will be open on non-event days. Sports fans of legal age will also have the option to wager on a William Hill mobile app inside the arena, as permitted by the Washington DC regulations.
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'Hand over the money or I will blow your head off': Man's chilling threat to William Hill cashier

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An man tried to rob a bookmakers in Leeds city centre by threatening to blow the cashier's head off.

Shaun Benson handed a cashier in William Hill on Vicar Lane a note written on a betting slip that read: "Hand over the money or I will blow your head off."

The 30-year-old - who was unarmed - was caught and jailed for two years after his DNA was found on a cigarette butt at the scene.

Leeds Crown Court heard Benson was unmasked when he walked into the building, which has CCTV, at around 7pm on July 27.

Prosecutor Carmel Pearson said the defendant approached the counter and passed the betting slip over after a regular customer walked out.

Miss Pearson said the cashier saw a 'dark shadow' on Benson's sleeve and thought he was trying to make him think he was armed.

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The cashier went into the back of the shop, closed the door and watched the defendant leave the building.

Police were called and other bookmakers in the city were alerted in case Benson was on a spree.

After he was arrested and as he was being put in a custody cell, he said: "My head's been up my a**e because I found out my daughter wasn't mine."Benson, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to attempted robbery.

The court heard Benson was aged nine when he found his mother dead after a heroin overdose and he was put into care because his father was also a heroin addict.

Stephen Smithson, mitigating, said Benson went out drinking heavily for a number of days after a DNA test showed he was not the father of a six-year-old girl who he believed was his daughter, adding: "He then went into the bookies and did what he did.

"There was little or no planning."
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