William Hill has been amongst the fastest growing companies inside the betting industry thanks to its online and ever growing betting shops, the traditional method vastly employed across the UK and now exported to the United States. 2017 has been a year to remember after the difficult times during the first decade of the 21st century, it now seems the company has found its success streak with global growth across Europe, Australia and now the USA.
Its online business net revenue increased by 6% and retail 3% by October 2017 accomplishing market expectations. Seeing growth online is great news considering most of the Group’s efforts go to retail, a market they know well and have dominated for more than 80 years.
“We have delivered good financial and operational progress so far in the second half,” said Philip Bowcock, chief executive of William Hill. “Our online business has performed particularly well, with UK wagering 14 per cent ahead of last year, in spite of the absence of a major football tournament, and an acceleration in gaming growth.”
And while the home market presents healthy numbers, it is nothing compared to what is happening overseas.
William Hill is rampant in the USA
Who said the British Empire is over? It’s just starting! William Hill is not only king in the streets of the old kingdom with more betting shops than Lad Brokers, the company now dominates in Nevada, the betting capital of the United States after an operation in 2015 that took over more than 60% of the betting shops in the state, both in Las Vegas and outside of it.
The US operation has been the fastest growing with net revenue growth of 28% for 2017 alone.
The American growth helps offset a slight decline in the Australian market and bailout from Canada after new regulations. And there might even be more room for growth in the US with the pending outcome of the US Supreme Court Ruling on the liberalization of betting.
New Jersey could be winning spear in this case, where the three major sports leagues of the country are trying to prevent sports betting in the state. But most of the Supreme Court judges are about to invalidate the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a 1992 federal state law that bans states from authorizing or licensing sports betting. In their eyes the law is unconstitutional and violates the 10th Amendment’s, which forbids the federal government from commanding states to implement federal law or policies that would interfere with their own sovereignty. And New Jersey’s political leaders, as well as its people, wish to allow sports betting in their state considering how well it affects the local economy.
William Hill seemed to have entered the American market at the right time and now has an advantage above any other international competitor seeking to enter the coveted market. It was only 10 years ago that most non-American online betting companies left the country after government tuff gambling laws implementation.
Investing in William Hill
Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, says that if the US ruling goes in their favor and another official decision in the UK pertaining to the amount of gamblers the company will be allowed to put on their fixed odd betting terminals, 2018 could be a year to break all records considering the upcoming betting frenzy of the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
“Due to the potential for further growth in mobile wagers, expansion into overseas markets and the prospect of further efficiencies within the business, we continue to recommend William Hill as a ‘buy’” said Graham Spooner early in December 2017.
2017 Number Recap:
- Online net revenue was up 6%
- Wagering up 13%
- Gaming net revenue up 14%
- Retail net revenue up 3% with growth in both Sportsbook and gaming
- Australia improved gross win margin despite softening a 5% wagering decline
- US business up 28%
On track to deliver previously announced £40m of annualized cost efficiencies by end of 2017, to be used for reinvestment.
"We have delivered good financial and operational progress so far in the second half. Our online business has performed particularly well, with UK wagering 14% ahead of last year, in spite of the absence of a major football tournament, and an acceleration in gaming growth” said Philip Bowcock, CEO.
“Retail has benefited from a stronger gross win margin to deliver both Sportsbook and gaming net revenue growth. Internationally, our US business continues to deliver strong double-digit net revenue growth and Australia's gross win margin has normalized relative to H1.”
“We look forward to the US Supreme Court's hearing on PASPA and its decision next year. As the largest operator of sports books in Nevada and with our 80-plus year heritage in the UK, we are actively engaged in helping sports bodies, regulators and other interested parties to understand the benefits of having a licensed and well-regulated US betting industry.”
About William Hill
William Hill PLC is a bookmaker with more 80 years in the market, being one of the oldest in its industry worldwide. The company is based in London, England, listed in the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.
The company operates worldwide with recent global expansion to Australia, continental Europe and most recently the United States in 2015. It employees more than 16.600 people with main offices in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar (from where it runs its online business) and Nevada.
William Hill is one of the market leaders in the retail betting business with more than 2,300 UK-wide Licensed Betting Offices, physical shops that can be found on street corners offering bettors the opportunity to place bets and watch the events on HD wall screens with several amenities. In this respect their market share is above 25% throughout the UK and Ireland. On average these betting shops will process more than one million betting slips per day.
The company is also one of the major online sportsbooks, particularly strong in the horseracing business where it has been a major sponsor for UK’s big events and racetracks.
The company has also invested heavily in its online casino operation, partnering with 5 different casino game providers to offer one of the largest portfolios of games, including those made by its own in-house team of developers. Visit William Hill - Official site for more information.