William Hill is a global online gambling company headquartered in London, England. The business is split into two divisions, UK and international. The UK operations are conducted from its office in Gibraltar, while international business is operated from its hub in Malta.

In addition to its online sportsbook operations, the company offers online casino games, skill games, online bingo and online poker. In 2009, the company moved its online betting operations to Gibraltar to reduce its taxes by millions of dollars.

The company was started by its titular founder, William Hill, in 1934. It underwent a series of sales through the 20th century: in 1971 it was acquired by Sears Holding, a British conglomerate. Then, in 1988 it was bought by Grand Metropolitan before it quickly changed hands, being purchased by Brent Walker – who subsequently sold it for $141m.

The Japanese investment bank Nomura placed a $700m leverage buyout of William Hill in 1997. Once again, this new ownership was short-lived; Nomura sold William Hill in 1997 for $995.4m to private equity firm Cinven and CVC Capital Partnerships.

The company’s fortune began to change from the onset of the 21st century. This began with it being listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2002, and in the same year, it bought Sunderland Greyhound Stadium. The following year it purchased Newcastle Greyhound Stadium which cemented its status in the greyhound racing sector of gambling.

In 2005, William Hill bought 624 betting offices in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and Jersey from Stanley Leisure for $607.5m. The acquisition briefly took the company past Ladbrokes into pole position as the UK’s top betting market.

In 2009, William Hill paid Playtech, an online sports betting provider, $172.4m for various assets and affiliate companies. These included several online casino sites which William Hill continues to run under the name WHG.

Later on, in 2013, William Hill bought Playtech out entirely for $643m which allowed it to fully diversify into the world of online betting. In 2014, they released ‘Get in The Race’, a virtual horse racing application.

In 2016, it acquired Grand Parade, the betting and gaming digital solutions company, for $16.4m in cash and shares. William Hill received regulatory approval to conclude its purchase of Mr Green, a Maltese-based gambling company, for $291.7m.

William Hill was hit particularly hard by the pandemic, which forced it to close 119 shops permanently. Despite this mass closure, only 16 employees lost their jobs.

However, the company’s brand name still retained a huge amount of value. In September 2020, William Hill agreed to a $3.49bn takeover bid by Caesars Entertainment, with 888 Holdings later buying the company for £3bn in 2021.

 

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