William Hill living in the stone age

22/02/2016 | By | Reply More

It was with some amusement that I read that William Hill were complaining that the merger between Ladbrokes and Coral was anti competitive.

The main thrust of their argument was that a merger between the two was blocked in 1998 and that: –

“It is important to recognise that the structure of the market has changed relatively little since 1998,” William Hill said, adding that there were 8,983 betting shops in Britain then, compared with 8,958 last year.”

I’m guessing that perhaps senior management, being the bright and forward thinking bunch they are, may have forgotten that something called the internet has taken the world by storm since then. I guess you could argue that the internet has had no impact what so ever on the way people do business, but I think that’s a little bit stretched.

The fact is, even William Hill document this, a huge amount of betting activity is coming in via smartphones now. People don’t head off down the high street looking for a bookie. They just pick up their phone and place a bet (often at terrible prices if they are not using an exchange).

That’s the way casual betting works for a large proportion of the market now. Sure people still places bets on course or in shops, but increasingly in smaller numbers. The world has changed a lot since 1998. To argue it hasn’t is just plain embarrassing. Sure I realise this is a ploy to try and derail the merger, but it makes William Hill look a bit stupid IMHO.

Coming from a technology background, I was taught that the way you progress is to out-compete your rivals. Do a better job than them at serving customers and delivering what customers want. It seems the betting industry in that respective is still stuck in the stone age.

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Category: Industry news

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

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