Founded in 1934, William Hill bookmakers is one of the largest and most trusted global brands today – with sites in nine countries and employing more than 16,000 people.
Known as one of the “Big Three” bookmakers – along with Ladbrokes and Coral – it holds around 25% of the UK betting market share, covering 60,000 events and offering a massive 500,000 betting opportunities each week.
William Hill has continued to enjoy success and growth over the years, despite the number of betting shops on the UK high street declining year on year by 43% since 1970.
History of the company
Born in Birmingham in 1903, the company’s founder, William Hill, started out at the age of 17 by taking off-course bets. In 1925, aged 22, he attempted to launch a betting shop but he didn’t have enough money. However, the start of organised greyhound racing the following year gave him the chance he had been waiting for.
He moved to London in 1929 and began taking bets around the London greyhound tracks, earning enough money to invest in Northolt Park Racetrack. Finally, in 1934, he opened his own betting shop in Park Lane and the William Hill company was born. He was soon expanding, opening new offices as far away as Scotland.
By the 1950s, William Hill had more than half a million customers and in 1966, he began acquiring more betting shops to add to his ever-growing empire. Even after his death in 1971, his legacy continued to live on and by 1985 the chain had more than 800 betting shops. Their popularity increased further, after television coverage of events was permitted in betting shops in 1986.
William Hill today
The brand today has expanded across the world and is a market-leader in the UK and Australian markets, with its online business based in Gibraltar and marketing and customer services offices in Israel, the Philippines and Bulgaria. William Hill US operates in Nevada and Delaware and the company has licensed websites in Italy and Spain.
Always encouraging customers to gamble responsibly, the company is a pioneer of new technology to deliver the optimum customer experience.
Set up in 2011, The William Hill Foundation aims to help colleagues and their families who suffer financial hardship. It achieved charitable status in 2012 and is financed by the William Hill Group to the tune of £100,000 per year.
The company helps local communities by sponsoring and contributing to a wide range of sporting activities, while supporting colleagues’ endeavours to raise funds for various charities. The emphasis is on improving the local environment, creating opportunities through sport and improving skills for colleagues, with more than 1,600 training courses provided.
Hundreds of colleagues participated in William Hill’s International Community Day in 2016, when worldwide events included a football match for a children’s charity in Manila, helping a foodbank for the needy in Nevada and refurbishing a Gibraltar animal shelter. In 2017, the community day was expanded into International Community Week, which took place in March.
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