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William Hill Review
William Hill are one of the largest and oldest bookmakers in the world. Does it make them one of the best for Aussie punters?
Globally, William Hill have a very long history. They were founded by (you guessed it) William Hill in 1934 in the UK, and have grown since into one of largest gambling companies in the world, operating both online and through a vast network of betting shops throughout Great Britain. After numerous ownership changes down the decades, William Hill plc was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2002.
In terms of the Australian operation, William Hill never actually launched their own business from scratch down under. Another British bookmaker, Sportingbet, were one of the first UK bookmakers to expand to Australia, and along the way they acquired Centrebet, in 2011.
William Hill launched in Australia via acquisitions, and they did so with a bang in 2013. They purchased Sportingbet for $660 million, and paid an additional $132 million for the Centrebet brand.
So all up, William Hill spent a whopping $826 million on acquisitions to enter the Australian market. From here, they embarked on merging the newly-acquired Australian brands under the one banner. In 2015 Sportingbet disappeared in Australia, rebranded as William Hill, with TomWaterhouse.com and Centrebet experiencing the same fate in 2016. Centrebet would be relaunched in 2017, as a low cost, high limit service for more serious punters.
Website Layout, Mobile Usability and App
William Hill totally rebuilt their website in 2016, and you can tell. It’s all very shiny and new!
From a responsiveness point of view, there’s little to complain about. There were a few issues early days, but that’s to be expected with any new site. Things seem to have been bedded in and are running well now.
In terms of layout, the William Hill homepage is extremely heavy on promotions. They basically frame the entire screen and are a bit of a clue as to what many suspect William Hill are all about: attracting the casual punter who just want to have a bet for fun. A lot of the features and the promotions that are given prominence are these type of offers: mystery bets, card games, lottery betting etc.
For those looking for a regular sports or racing bet, the site is very functional, and everything is intuitive, easy to find and use. The Quickbet feature is handy if you’re in a rush, as you don’t have to go through the regular betslip process: you just get a pop-up with everything you need to quickly put a bet on (the feature can be turned off if you prefer not to use it).
The mobile app is also new, and an impressive one. It’s a bit more ’straight-to-business’: opening it takes you straight to a next-race-to-jump menu, and you can easily navigate to promotions and popular sports. Quickbet works well on the mobile too. The app also keeps you signed in at all times, which is a good help when you’re in a hurry.
Why Bet With Them
As we said, William Hill are one of the oldest and biggest bookmakers in the world. This is reflected in their range of markets, which is enormous. Every sport under the sun is covered, and the markets for each match are extensive. If you’re looking for betting options on popular sports like AFL, NRL, NFL, NBA, baseball and cricket, then William Hill has you covered. As a global company, William Hill have analyst and bookmaking teams to cover everything.
Price-wise, William Hill are generally competitive. Looking at a sample of racing and popular sports markets, their prices are never far from the top of the marketplace.
William Hill also have a rewards point scheme, like an increasing number of bookmakers. You earn points as you bet (at the rates shown below), and then you can redeem the points for bonus bets or Velocity Frequent Flyer points.
William Hill also have the ‘William Hill card’, which is a free option on your account. You can transfer your account balance to your William Hill card, which then works just the same as any credit or debit card – so you can spend at any store or outlet via Eftpos. It’s a handy tool that means you don’t have to wait for traditional bank transfer withdrawals, which usually take a couple of days to clear.
In terms of live vision, William Hill are the only bookmaker who have both Victorian and NSW racing available live to watch in their app: most only have Victorian racing. The vision is available with the Racing NSW app anyway, but it’s definitely handy to have it all there, ready to go in the one app as you bet.
Bonuses and Promo Generosity
William Hill are big on promotions, having a wide range available most of the time. Highlights are:
William Hill have a dedicated Live Betting page, listing all the current sports available for Live Betting. The company was at the forefront of click-to-call technology which made it extremely easy to place a live bet on your computer or phone, however this has unfortunately been outlawed in Australia. So you now need to call the William Hill call centre to place a live bet. The Live Betting option covers all of the major sports such as AFL, NRL, cricket, NBA, NFL, soccer, rugby and tennis.
Client Profiling & Account Restrictions
Unfortunately, William Hill are one of the bookies with a strong reputation for banning and limiting successful punters. A reasonable run of winning bets is usually enough to see you booted from William Hill: expect to see your stakes severely limited when trying to place a bet on any sporting event – if you’re offered fixed-odds at all. Many refer to this as the “UK disease”, as it’s a feature of bookmaking that appears widespread in Britain. Being a British company, it’s not hard to make that link when it comes to William Hill.
Minimum bet limits on major Australian states’ racing offers some level of protection for the punter, and William Hill’s racing prices are generally competitive. In the early days of MBLs, there were some stories from punters that William Hill were simply ignoring the regulations. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore, which is a good thing.
Limiting of bonuses and promos is usually even quicker. Even if mixing promo bets with a fair number of non-promo markets, William Hill are still rather quick to switch off the bonus tap.
Thankfully, William Hill seem to have heeded criticism and responded by relaunching Centrebet as a high-limits, low-margin bookmaker for more serious punters. If you run into trouble with William Hill, it’s well worth considering Centrebet as another option.
Aside from that final criticism, William Hill are a solid bookie to bet with for the average punter. The website and mobile app are impressive, their odds are generally very decent and the bonus and promotion offers are one of the best. It’s certainly worth taking a couple of minutes to get a William Hill account – even if there are some issues with successful betting, it’s certainly good while it lasts!
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