How does the sportsbook stack up?
When you’ve been in business for more than 80 years it’s fair to say you must be doing something right. Well, that’s certainly the case for William Hill. The company, which is named after their founder, was formed back in 1934; despite an evolving and more competitive marketplace the London based bookie remains a market leader. Here, we’ll take a look at everything they have to offer with our William Hill review.
It’s no surprise that William Hill have remained at the top of their niche. For a long time they’ve followed a careful sponsorship and expansion plan. That has seen them grow from the United Kingdom to the United States and on to Australia just to name a couple of locations where they carry a strong presence. More recently, they were bought out by gaming giant Caesars Entertainment in a deal worth nearly £3bn.
Right, there is a little bit of the company history but before we dive into the William Hill review, we think it’s important to understand what makes a good bookmaker. We’ll be looking at all aspects of the offering William Hill provide; this will include the sports markets they operate in, the promotions they run for both new and existing customers and through to how they support their customers.
Markets and odds
William Hill’s own website cites football and horse racing as their key markets within their sportsbook; they have a particular focus on the former at the moment with the 2020 European Championships due to take place this summer. With that in mind, you might not be surprised to learn that the events covered in those sports are fairly extensive and come with competitive odds.
Let’s take football to start. Of course, the five major European leagues are available to bet on but betting options exist for their lower leagues too. On top of that and the bigger cup competitions, you have the more obscure leagues – such as the Sudan Premier League – for both match and outright wagers. Within the fixtures themselves you are spoilt for choice. There is a truly exhaustive list of bet types for you to consider; these range from match betting, goal scorer markets and even on to things like how many tackles a specific player might make.
Horse racing has a similar feel to it; the big events are covered by most bookies and William Hill are no different. The UK markets are the dominant events with race information available several days in advance but it’s not just domestic courses that get that sort of attention. Australia, New Zealand and the USA have plenty of events listed whilst the Rest of the World have their own section. William Hill don’t just limit you to fanfare races like the Kentucky Derby. In terms of what sorts of bets you can place you can opt for the common markets of race winners and each way betting but other options, such as head-to-head horse betting and betting without the favourites are also available.
Finally, you have all the other sports on offer which include everything from the NFL to sailing.
Special offers and promotions
The next step in our William Hill review is to look at their special offers and promotions. As is common place alongside online sportsbooks you’ll be given an extra incentive to sign up with William Hill. This will be in the form of a “Bet £10 and get £30 in free bets” offer. There are terms and conditions in order for you to activate this offer. That said, it is quite handsome in comparison to the likes of GentingBet who only offer a free bet if your first wager loses. The main small print to be aware of when placing your bet is that your odds will have to be greater than 1/2 whilst the £30 freebie is actually split into two £15 bets.
Beyond the “hook” they offer to new customers, William Hill are not shy of keeping their existing client base interested; it’s a slight change in tact over recent years as they place more emphasis on loyalty. What does this look like? Well, they run a daily “Bonus Drop”. This is a free to enter prize drop that can net you up to £1,000 cash. Another daily game, “Scratch of the Day” gives you the chance to win smaller prizes like free bets and free spins in their casino.
Then there are the mainstream perks like paying out extra places in horse races are common place too. We’re not done yet though, William Hill also what they refer to as “enhanced odds”. This is where they’ll boost the odds of a specific bet; it might be an accumulator, it might be a snooker player to win over a certain number of frames; it could even be backing a horse to win.
Website and App overview
We’ve established that William Hill are up there with the best of them in terms of market depth and promotions. The next step is to take a look at the technical side of things. After all, nobody wants to mess around with a clunky website or app. Time is money!
Thankfully, William Hill do a decent job on this front too despite a reasonably old school look. If you’re using a desktop machine you’ll find the left hand shows a well laid out menu that is split between “Popular” sports and an “A-Z”. This makes accessing your selected sport very easy. Once selected, the main section of your screen will show the top events for that sport e.g. a list of upcoming football fixtures. The odds are displayed in a really clear and concise manner; options to toggle into different bet types are available in a horizontal ribbon at the top of the page.
From the main page, you can see how many different bets are available ‘under’ each event; this is displayed on the right hand side of the odds with a ‘+’ symbol followed by a number. Whatever that number is correlates to how many different bets can be wagered – for Stockport versus West Ham in the FA Cup third round it’s a staggering 412; proof of that event depth we touched on earlier. By clicking on the specific event your page will change. You’ll now see the top bet types for that event with the ribbon now allowing quick drilldown into the range of betting markets available to you.
You’ll be pleased to know that the mobile website and both apps (iOS and android) are equally as slick. They just use menus working on toggles rather than in fixed columns or ribbon form.
Banking and safe betting
We’re getting towards that part of our William Hill review that is a) not all that exciting but b) absolutely critical to make sure you get what you expect from the company with whom you might deposit large sums of money. Where William Hill are concerned you are in safe hands.
In respect of deposits and withdrawals you can use a multitude of options. This could be card, Apple pay, e-payment solutions such as Paypal and Skrill and, for those not based in the United Kingdom, even credit card. That’s just a sample of those methods available too. Deposits can be as much as £99,000; although I’d reaffirm the need to only bet what you can afford to lose at this point! Withdrawals can be as low as £5.
It’s worth noting that William Hill offer a detailed ‘Safer Gambling’ section on their website that provides access to different tools to support anyone on a slippery slope. Deposit limits and ‘time outs’ are also available. Again, these are detailed in the same section. Hopefully, you’ll never need them but it’s good to know they’re there.
The customer service doesn’t score as badly with independent review sites coming in at 3.8/5. It’s pretty easy to see why. The old fashioned means of contact such as phone and email are still options for you but access to a 24/7 live chat and an active encouragement for punters to reach out via social media is testament to the comfort William Hill have in their service.
Beyond the customer to staff interaction, there is a detailed FAQ page whilst a ‘rules’ page in the help section details the intricacies behind the sports and markets available to you.
There is an old saying, “you never see a bookie go out of business”. It’s not 100% true but few would argue with that the sentiment is fair enough. The thing is bookmaking has evolved at breakneck speed over the last decade. Given their historic roots, it would have been easy for William Hill to get left behind. They haven’t though, they’ve adapted and come through the transition exactly where they were; that’s as one of the UK’s leading bookies.
There you have it, our William Hill review. They’re well worth a look.