William Hill’s CEO Extends His Stay


U.K.’s largest Bookmaker, William Hill, last week revealed that Ralph Topping, its current Chief Executive Officer, would continue leading the group until at least the end of 2015.

Topping said that despite the fact that he had expected to step down at the end of 2013, he would continue in his role as Chief Executive Officer of William Hill for another two years at least.

William Hill’s board is thrilled that Topping intends remaining with the group for the coming years while they continue examining options both internally and externally for a successor for the chief executive role.

Topping has spent 43 years with William Hill and took up the role of Chief Executive Officer during 2008. He was largely instrumental in William Hill’s push both online and overseas and recently spent in excess of 800 million pounds on deals. The deals included buying out William Hill’s online partner Playtech and rival gambling firm Sportingbet’s Australian operations.

William Hill’s shares have risen 74% in the past year and the group posted a rise of 8 percent in the first quarter operating profit in April resulting from a strong performance of its fast expanding online business.

The shareholders recently criticized Topping for having accepted a retention bonus of 1.2 million pounds with almost half of the group’s investors voting against the pay deal.

William Hill paid out total dividends of 7.5p per share in 2009 and increased the sum to 10.4p per share in 2012. Analysts are anticipating the dividends to keep rising and reaching 11.4p this year and 12.7p in 2014.

Solid Quarter Reported by William Hill


William Hill, the UK’s largest bookmaker, reported that its numbers for the three months leading to the end of September 2012 has once again shown extraordinary growth.

A rise in group profits for the third quarter of 2012 was revealed and the company reported that online operating profits were up by 42% to GBP 34.8 m which is an 8% rise compared to the third quarter of 2011.

William Hill’s online net revenue grew by 18% thus proving that internet gambling is growing at a substantial pace. The company also reported a 9% growth in group profit as well as a 3% growth in retail net value.

Ian Topping, the Chief Executive of William Hill, said that they had seen substantial operating profit growth in the third quarter with their Group net revenue remaining far ahead of last year and quarterly growth continuing in line with that seen in the first half of the year.

Topping added that the OIympics and Paralympics seemed to reduce customer visits in Retail but that this was compensated by the strong margin growth across all channels. He also said that football, including a strong Euro 2012 in July had resulted in a good performance and that margin trends in horseracing were improving.

Topping went on to say that William Hill had recently announced several new senior management appointments at William Hill Online and that the group is currently involved with GVC Holdings to acquire Sportingbet. William Hill also intends commencing the valuation process regarding the minority share in William Hill Online before making a decision on this by the end of the first quarter of 2013.

William Hill Launches New Alert Service

The UK’s leading bookmaker, William Hill, has announced the launch of their new Priority Prices innovation that will see punters at William Hill being offered the opportunity to obtain notice in advance of standout odds on the main sporting events via an easy registration process.

The Priority Prices innovation was introduced to the industry on Saturday and is bound to be highly popular among William Hill’s punters as it promises to open players’ sports betting experiences to better payouts and enhanced odds.

Those wishing to sign up for the new William Hill Priority Prices product will have the opportunity to do so via in-shop through the group’s online site www.williamhill.com or via their mobile devices. Players who sign up will receive advanced alerts before any others on each Priority Price on offer.

A spokeswoman for William Hill, Kate Miller, said that this is a first for the betting industry where subscribed customers are able to gain advance notification on enhanced odds ahead of the rest of the gambling community.

Miller added that it is free to sign up to this new product and they are committed to only offering industry-best odds.

Although William Hill can only offer a limited number of Priority Prices for each event, it will be keeping its customers informed on Priority Prices, release dates the number of bets that are available at that price and regular updates on how many bet numbers are still available. Players will, therefore, be given an opportunity to plan their betting schedule ahead of time and make informed decisions based on enhanced odds.

William Hill is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Nevada Gaming Control Board Recommends Licensing for William Hill


UK’s leading bookmaker, William Hill, recently announced that at a hearing that took place in Carson City, the Nevada Gaming Control Board had voted unanimously to recommend that the group be approved for licensing.

William Hill was questioned by the Control Board with regard to Playtech founder Teddy Sagi who was jailed in 1996 for fraud and bribery as the companies have endured a rocky relationship lately. William Hill was also grilled on fund protection and safeguards for problem gambling and sporting event integrity.

William Hill and its executives are due to appear before the Nevada Gaming Commission in the next and final phase of licensing which is due to take place on Thursday, 21st June, 2012 in order to discuss its application and to obtain the Nevada Gaming Commission’s final decision.

This follows William Hill’s initial entry into Nevada during 2011 when agreements were signed to purchase Club Cal Neva, Brandywine Bookmaking LLC and American Wagering incorporated.

Chief Executive for William Hill, Ralph Topping, commented that they are absolutely thrilled to have the Nevada Gaming Board’s recommendation for licensing and that they are looking forward to their forthcoming hearing with the Gaming Commission on the 21st June, 2012. Topping added that they are extremely grateful for the Nevada regulators who have been tremendously fair and detailed in their assessment of their entry into the state.

William Hill is hoping to operate the three Nevada sports books that were acquired by the group during 2011. Club Cal Neva, Leroy’s and Lucky’s will be consolidated and will then be re-branded as part of the $60 million project.

Jamie Oliver Cookbook tipped to be Number One Christmas Title at UK Betting Sites

UK bookmakers have already posted a number of Christmas related odds at their sites.

Popular UK online and land based bookmaker, William Hill, has made Jamie Oliver’s new book, Jamie’s Great Britain, which is a celebration of British cooking, a number one Christmas bestselling book with odds of 1 / 2.

It would appear as if Jamie Oliver’s newest title will follow in the footsteps of last year’s book, Jamie’s 30 Minute Meals, which topped the charts, selling 150,000 during the Christmas week.

Jamie’s Great Britain, is however, facing competition from old rival, The Guinness Book of Records, which at present carries odds of 11/2 to be the Christmas Number One bestseller.

Graham Sharp, a spokesperson for William Hill online sports betting site, revealed that the Christmas battle appears to have started earlier than usual with Jamie cooking up a betting storm. He added, however, that several high profile celebs and the hard to beat Guinness Book of Records is a tough competitor.

The current odds available at William Hill online betting site is as follows –

  • Jamie Oliver – Jamie’s Great Britain – 1 / 2
  • Guinness Book of Records – 11 / 2
  • The Inbetweeners Yearbook – 10 / 1
  • Paul Scholes My Story – 10 / 1
  • Jeremy Clarkson – Round the Bend – 12 / 1
  • James Cordon – May I Have Your Attention Please – 16 / 1
  • Alan Sugar – The Way I See it – 16 / 1
  • Alan Patridge – I, Patridge: We Need to Talk About Alan – 20 / 1

Despite the fact that there are some great new titles out, there is not one fiction title running for the top spot at William Hill.