William Hill is a betting and gaming company, which employs approximately 16,000 people.
William Hill was founded in London in 1934 as a telephone bookmaking business and created its first licensed betting offices in 1966.
In June 2002, William Hill was floated on the London Stock Exchange. In 2005, it acquired Stanley Leisure plc’s licensed betting offices in the UK and Ireland, which resulted in William Hill becoming the UK’s largest bookmaker.
William Hill’s business strategy is based on these pillars:
- Multi-channel: capture an increasing share of customers’ gambling spend across both the retail and online channels in the UK.
- International diversification: leverage the company’s expertise in international markets to grow non-UK revenues and profits thereby diversifying and reducing business risk.
- Technology: use technology to provide a competitively differentiated product suite.
William Hill’s believes sports betting, which it considers one of its main areas of expertise, is the most important product for attracting and retaining online customers in the UK. This is because it targets the largest single segment of the online gambling population, has a relatively low cost per acquisition, the longest customer lifespan and the best cross-selling potential along with the greatest opportunity for product differentiation.
William Hill is comprised of four businesses:
- The high street-based operation in the UK, with approximately 2,370 licensed betting offices, which provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries.
The UK is William Hill’s primary market.
- Digital betting and gaming via www.williamhill.com providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill’s products online.
The UK online market, including mobile, is the fastest growing segment of the UK gambling industry.
- William Hill Australia, which offers online betting in the Australian market.
- William Hill US, which operates sports books in Nevada and is the exclusive bookmaker to the Delaware state sports lottery.
William Hill’s betting products are divided into two categories: sports betting and betting on other events. The most popular sports betting products are horse racing, football, tennis and greyhound racing. William Hill also offers odds on many other sports such as rugby, cricket, golf, motor racing, darts, snooker, American football, Australian Rules football, baseball, basketball and ice hockey.
William Hill accepts a range of different types of bets from simple bets on the outcome of a single event to more complex bets, such as accumulator bets on the outcome of a number of different matches or sporting events.
Other events include bets on non-sporting events, such as the outcome of political elections, television competitions and popular music chart results, as well as high profile novelty bets.
William Hill’s gaming products, whose outcome is dependent on chance, include slot machine games (played either on physical machines or online), casino games, bingo, poker and other skill games. Skill games, are games, it is argued, where the odds can be changed over the long run based on the application of skill (for example, games between customers such as poker).
With William Hill’s gaming products, the customer bets against the house and the William Hill makes its profit based on probabilities in the long run of different events occurring and uses “house” rules and procedures to apply risk limits.
William Hill has extensive experience in the following risk management and bookmaking procedures, which it believes are essential to operating a profitable betting operation:
- Imposing bet acceptance limits.
- Expert odds compilation.
In addition, the breadth of betting opportunities that William Hill offers to customers, enable the company to spread its risk over a large number of events.
William Hill’s gaming products (casino games, slots, poker and bingo) increase the company’s opportunities to cross-sell multiple products to customers, maximising the customer spend across channels. Profits from its gaming products gaming are more predictable than sports betting margins, which fluctuate, and provide a more stable source of revenue for the company.
William Hill has rolled out self service betting terminals in its high street betting shops. The goal of this is to bring the massive product range that it has created for its online customers available to its retail customers.
In the UK, in-play betting and mobile gambling have been the key drivers of growth in the past few years. William Hill, along with much of the gambling industry, relies on third party software suppliers for its online offerings. William Hill’s intention is to develop more of its software in-house, in order to bring customers a more differentiated offering and to deliver innovations to customers faster and more frequently.
Part of William Hill’s online offering provides destination-themed gaming. Alongside its Vegas product suite, William Hill provides a Macau casino along with a “Mayfair” branded product offering.