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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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