The history and current ownership of major bookmaker William Hill is an exciting story. There have been many twists and turns along the way as the founding members sold up, allowing big corporations to modernise and bring William Hill forward. It has been dragged in different directions over the last few years, especially since the launch and rapid growth of online betting and then mobile betting.
It may be an established sportsbook and a name bettors know and trust, but that doesn’t give them the right to be successful. The betting industry has changed and when faced with increased competition William Hill have had to evolve. There is no loyalty amongst bettors anymore, and that comes as little surprise with so many betting apps offering them free bets, enhanced odds, cashback, profit boosts and other incentives.
History – who was William Hill?
William Hill was founded by an English businessman of the same name. Hill was born in July 1903 and left school at an early age to work on a farm. This proved to be a difficult way to make a living, but it inspired the youngster to aim high in life.
Where did William Hill start?
The founder may have been a Birmingham lad at heart, but he was well-travelled and launched the brand in London at the capital’s most significant race events. His love of gambling began when taking bets from workers at a Birmingham factory, collecting slips and wagers then paying out winnings using a motorcycle. This was completely illegal and wasn’t overly successful. He had more luck when moving to London and taking greyhound bets before opening a gambling den, again illegally. In 1944, William launched the first fixed-odds football coupon and opened his first betting office just a few years later, despite being against the idea of high street gambling.
Outside of betting, Hill was a keen horse breeder and owner of greyhounds, including Lone Keel, who was the 1938 English Greyhound Derby champion. Notable horses connected to Hill include Cantelo, who was a famous filly and winner of the St Leger Stakes in 1959. William passed away in 1971, aged 68, but his legacy lives on in betting and horse racing.
Next time you are asked who started William Hill, you’ll know it was an ambitious Englishman who didn’t allow early failure and setback to dampen his dreams and his dedication to sports betting earned him a place in the history books.
Who owns William Hill bookmakers?
The William Hill brand has had many owners over the years, and it went through another takeover and merger earlier this year.
Who owns William Hill today?
That would be Caesars Entertainment, who acquired William Hill for a fee reported to be in the region of $4 billion. That move was finalised in April of this year and made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean with big changes expected.
Not much is expected to change for William Hill’s customers in the United Kingdom, but Caesars wanted to get their hands on one of the biggest brands in world betting. Why would that be when online betting is all but illegal in the states? The rules have changed regarding online gambling in America, with the White House handing the power over to individual states. Governors and their backers now have the option to lift the long-running ban on betting and allow residents to bet online or stick to the previous rules and uphold the ban on sports betting. New Jersey was the first to take advantage, legalising betting at land-based casinos and betting offices as well as online through websites and mobile apps.
Who is William Hill owned by? A huge American company that is known for its success in the casinos of Las Vegas but with a passion and drive to secure a share of the new legal gambling industry in the United States while building on the success of the brand in the United Kingdom, Europe and further afield.
William Hill CEO
The CEO is Ulrik Bengtsson, who faces a challenging but exciting time in the bookmaker’s history and its future. Decisions made now could have a huge impact on where William Hill goes from here, particularly in America, and the long-term value of the business. It’s exciting times and you can get involved.
The short-term future of William Hill shouldn’t change too much for customers or those looking to join. It’s now the perfect time to join William Hill and be part of its journey. Big things are approaching and you’ll want to get in on the action.