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The British bookmaker, William Hill, have announced that they are going to merge the retail and online side of their business in the UK, which have hitherto been operated as two separate entities. The decision has been made by Ulrik Bengtsson, who is the company’s Chief Executive Officer and has made several big changes since taking over at the firm.
Phil Walker will take charge of the single market division in the United Kingdom, having previously been the Managing Director of William Hill online. Nicola Frampton, meanwhile, will leave her post as the head of the retail side of the business and will depart William Hill after ten years. The merger has been done to help focus the business’ recovery in 2021.
How the Company Will Now Look
There will now be a six month transition period for William Hill, during which time Phil Walker and Nicola Frampton will work together to set the business up as a single-market division. Frampton declared that she was looking forward to ‘working with Phil on a handover plan’, with the pair working hand-in-glove to ensure things go smoothly moving forward.
The plan is for William Hill to be a Single-Market division in the United Kingdom from September this year, with Charlotte Emery moving from being the Global Brand and Marketing Director to lead the Brand Centre of Excellence as part of the Executive Team. The Brand Centre of Excellence has been newly created as part of the shake-up.
Getting Ready for 2021
William Hill has been one of the bookmakers most affected by recent changes to gambling legislation in the United Kingdom. The firm closed more than 700 shops as a result of the government’s decision to add a maximum stake limit to Fixed Odds Betting Machines, for example. In June, they raised £225 million with private investors as working capital.
When the company wrote notes for investors it made reference to the ‘expected drop’ in what it referred to as its ‘retail footprint’. William Hill also pointed out that the US joint-venture partnerships as well as the ‘accelerated digital momentum’ would ensure that the corporate side of things would continue to grow.
The company has also moved to simplify its operating structures, initiating a phased closure of the Gametek office that it had in Stockholm. It is all aimed at ensuring it can recover from the regulatory and economic challenges that it has faced in recent times, including the drop in income due to the lack of sporting events taking place around the world on account of the recent lockdown.
‘Sad to Say Goodbye’ to Nicola Frampton
The destructing does mean that Nicola Frampton will be leaving the company after a decade. Though it won’t happen immediately thanks to that need to have a six-month handover period, it will see the departure of someone who has ‘been a driving force’ for the bookmaker.
Frampton herself spoke of her ‘privilege’ at leading the retail team. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Ulrik Bengtsson, spoke of his sadness that she’ll be leaving. He said,
We will be immensely sad to say goodbye to Nicola Frampton when the time comes. Nicola has been with William Hill for ten years and has been a driving force on the executive team as well as being instrumental in reshaping and transforming our retail business.”
Capitalising on a Packed Sports Schedule
It is the fervent hope of William Hill that they’ll be able to capitalise on a packed sporting schedule that will be coming our way as 2020 ends and 2021 begins. The Premier League, having restarted behind closed doors to ensure the completion of the 2019-2020 season, is likely to have only a short break before the 2020-2021 campaign gets underway.
At the same time, numerous competitions were cancelled or rescheduled, including the UEFA European Championship. It’s likely that the organising body for football in Europe will attempt to ensure that the tournament will be run next summer, meaning that William Hill will be in prime position to take advantage of the bets that people will want to place on it.