As an evident result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic foundation of the entire world has faced a severe impact, and companies are still now looking for chances to launch recovery efforts. For maintaining the protocols of social distancing, the government at the early stage of the pandemic postponed all major sports events. Consequently, the sportsbooks had seen a massive decline in revenue.
However, as with time, the scenario is gradually getting normalized, sports activities have started their re-launching process. Hence, sportsbooks are now hoping to start generating revenue once again, relying on significant sports organizations like the NBA and MLB.
Amid such a scenario, famed UK based bookmaker William Hill has declared to merge its retail and online divisions for the sake of saving money and future growth. As a result, Phil Walker, currently managing director of Hill’s UK online department, will now operate the charge of the entire UK market. Besides, Nicola Frampton, who has been the key to the success of the firm’s retail division, has to step down. However, for the next 6 months, both executives will perform their duties together to devote time to the company for transiting towards the new structure.
Because of the unprecedented outbreak of Covid-19 and postponement of worldwide sporting contests, the company’s revenue has dropped down by 57% between just March 11 to April 28. The company also stated, their retail segment has been devastated due to the government’s suspension on non-essential businesses.
However, some actions, like various soccer competitions in Italy, Germany, and Spain, along with horseracing, have fuelled their online segment. Besides, UFC, NASCAR, boxing bouts, and golf have also helped them sustain during that time.
Reportedly, the firm also had to close around 713 betting shops for adhering to the government’s decision. This action made them minimize the maximum stake of fixed betting terminals. Hence, the stake that was £100 ($125) per spin had become low as £2 ($2.50).
Now, according to a report of the Racing Post, through a share placement, William Hill has raised £224 million ($279 million) for strengthening its balance sheet. For this reason, now they crave to work on their UK expansion preparation.
Words from CEO and Former Retail Head
The time will tell what is ahead for the former retail head of William Hill, but for now, according to him, he is looking forward to performing his handover duties. While giving entire credit of success to the shops, he also states about his privilege for leading the retail team of William Hill.
The CEO of William Hills, Ulrik Bengtsson, also seems reluctant to let her go. However, the company has to maintain its profitability. In his words, Nicola Frampton has been a driving force of the executive team for 10 long years while being a key for redefining and transforming the retail section of William Hills. He also speaks that it will be sad to bid him goodbye.
A Goodbye to Sweden too
According to reports, William Hill has also proclaimed that it has a plan to close its Sweden office by the end of 2020. The office, founded in 2018, is situated in Stockholm. Subsequently, the company also has plans to migrate the facility functions to Leeds or Krakow.
For supporting this decision, William Hill has pronounced that the company now needs a team-oriented product development approach. Thus, structuring the exact number of teams with sufficient skill is immensely necessary for the company. Moreover, for this reason, they have taken up a few tough decisions about their location.
The Reconstruction and the Hope
William Hill may complete this entire reconstruction process within 2020, before the arrival of major sports events. Besides, as there are options like Bundesliga and English Premier League, William Hill will be more than happy to pack up their schedule with as much as action possible. Along with that, if NBA, hockey, NFL, or other mainstream events can be re-launched as per their schedule, William Hill will be left with more coverage. Foremost, these sporting events are now their ultimate key for moving towards the advantageous side.
It needs to be stated that international online activity has been played a significant role for them, keeping their losses in control. The firm is now collecting all the necessary elements for starting again with new hopes, and these major sports leagues are another key that can put William Hill on the right track once again. Now, time will depict whether the injection money of $279 million comes to their aid or not. However, for now, the company wants to run its transformation work while being optimistic.