For many , this is the first name that comes to mind when it comes to betting: In the pre-Internet era, before the advent to internet and Internet, William Hill betting shops were common in British high Streets and people older than a certain age and who were still betting online will have visited one of their stores at some point.
They’re not necessarily the most ancient bookmaker, however their history spans to over 80 years, so how did they get started and how did they grow into the renowned brand we have to this day?
Beginnings: 1934 through 1940’s
The company was established in 1934 by a man named William Hill himself and in the early days before the business was legalized The official history of the company states that it was established to provide a postal and telephone service and that was the main aspect of the business in the early days.
William Hill, like many of his peers, began with bookmaking at a very young age. While being an apprentice in the BSA motorcycle manufacturing plant in World War I, he was able to drive around and take bets on his motorcycle.
After the war was over, Hill began to take his bookmaking business more seriously. He began to set up on races, but at the time, he was way out of his comfort zone when it came to taking on professional punters and losing tons of money!
Visit this website for William Hill closing times.
Innovation from 1944 to 1960
When William Hill began to get an understanding of his business, he began with a fresh start. Some profitable trading enabled him to relocate his offices to London. From there, the business was officially named William Hill and the real work began.
Hills were in the forefront of amazing betting innovations in the beginning days. The company was legally allowed to trade due to a legal loophole permitted the use of credit and postal betting so in the absence of cash.
The year was 1944 and a brand new invention was introduced. Hill created the very first football with fixed odds coupon . In addition, an entirely separate football section of the business was created.
In the Open From 1961 to 1969
The legalization of betting shops in the UK in May 1961 , and at this point the practice of placing bets became more accessible. Although betting was still thriving in spite of the regulations and regulations, this led to an inevitable explosion, with an influx of new customers eager to join the club since it was no longer banned.
It was a surprise, considering that they were in the forefront of technological advancement for more than three decades at the time It took a bit of time to William Hill to get involved and their first physical location did not appear in the next five years – in the year 1966.
It is believed that Mr. Hill himself, a committed socialist, was worried about the stress that gambling shops could bring to the common man. But, it was at this time that the direct fight against Ladbrokes was losing. William Hill could no longer claim to be the world’s largest Bookmaker’. It Hill’s close friend Jack Swift who finally persuaded Hill of the immense potential of this new aspect of the business. William Hill William Hill organisation acquired a substantial number of stores in the latter half of the 1960’s, and the expansion continued with acquisitions of smaller businesses that were independent – eventually reaching a peak of more than 15,000.
1971 to 1999 2001 – 1999: Changes
William Hill has, himself been the main force behind the business and has kept pushing forward. He retired in 1970, having spent more than five decades working in the business before passing in 1973.
From 1971 to the present the company was sold to different owners initially being purchased from Sears Holdings before Grand Metropolitan assumed the helm in 1988. The following year, Brent Walker acquired the company and ran William Hill for eight years and the company continued to expand its betting outlets until a change in the way we place bets.
From 1999 to the present: The Digital Revolution
While they’re an old-fashioned bookmaker which still has a physically present presence in the UK High Street William Hill William Hill were among the first bookmakers to take part in the digital revolution and set up an online site.
In 2000, prior to that they launched an offshore phone betting service since the gambling industry began to explore alternatives to traditional methods and seek out new ways for placing bets. It may not be an exciting development in the present day, however, in reality, telephone betting, as well as any other type of trade conducted ‘over the telephone was thought to be very revolutionary in the beginning in the 20th century.
As with all great bookies, technology-related aspects of the business has been expanded to include mobile betting as well as an app, while innovative ideas like betting on games are also being embraced. The casino website was also launched and although many people still prefer to shop in a physical store at times William Hill’s online operation is among the most efficient and most user-friendly.
The Present Day
If you take a look at William Hill’s most recent list of publicly announced figures, they’re quite shocking. The accounts for 2015 show total revenue at PS1,590.9 million, and operating profit of PS283.3 million and all this resulted in a total profit that was PS189.9 million. Around the world, they employ more than 16,000 employees and is clearly one of the largest companies in the industry.
William Hill have become involved in numerous sports sponsorships, but they have been relatively silent in the realm of football. A shirt sponsorship in 2009 with Malaga during 2009 represented an unusual attempt at this type of marketing. If you had watched the Scottish Cup Final as recently as May 2016 you’d have noticed William Hill as the principle sponsor of the trophy.
The horse racing industry has benefited from Hill’s sponsorship throughout the years and in the world of literature, William Hill Sports Book of the Year William Hill Sports Book of the Year is an extremely sought-after prize.
They are a business that clearly wants to contribute to the sport world after and have done a great job out of it over the past 75 years.