William Hill, self-claimed ”Britain’s favorite bookmaker,” has been through several ups and downs throughout its history that spans almost a century (the company was founded in 1934).
Right now, though, things are looking up: in 2014, they reported net revenue of £1.6 billion (up 8% from the previous year) and operating profits of £372.2 million (up 11% from the previous year). Having been online since 1998, William Hill is now one of the biggest internet bookmakers in the U.K. with almost 3 million digital customers yearly and over 16,000 employees in three locations (UK, Ireland and Gibraltar). They’ve won plenty of industry awards, the latest of which being Sportsbook Operator of the Year at 2016 iGaming Awards.
WilliamHill.com is translated into 21 languages and the site gets plenty of traffic from all over Europe – in fact, one of their main markets besides the UK is Spain (they’re La Liga team Malaga’s main sponsor). The UK is clearly the biggest market for William Hill and responsible for around 82% of their revenue. According to Gambling Compliance, William Hill has the biggest market share in the UK online betting industry (15%, although Bet365.com comes close with 14% of the market).
You have to be ”everywhere” in order to become one of the biggest betting sites in the UK. William Hill achieves this partly by sponsoring the England and Scotland national teams, the FA Cup, World Darts Championship, ”the richest greyhound race in the world” at Wimbledon, and several other top-level competitions.
Players from the US, Germany, France and Turkey are prohibited.
Plenty of Ways to Fund Your Account
As you might expect from a gambling site that’s big on an international level, William Hill has a plethora of free deposit and withdrawal options: Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro credit and debit cards, e-wallets like Neteller and Skrill, online banking services, pre-paid cards, and vouchers. (I counted 40 payment options altogether.)
The deposit limit for most of the banking options is £10 while the withdrawal limit is £5. This might sound like a small detail, but many sites have a min. deposit limit of £10 and a min. withdrawal limit of £20 so it’s nice that the min. amount you can withdraw is smaller than the min. amount you can deposit.
Considering all the information I ran into when doing research, I had high expectations for William Hill (especially the sportsbook section of the site).
At first sight, though, the betting interface looked surprisingly complicated. I’ve gotten used to filters on the left side of betting lines so it took me a while to find the tabs positioned above the betting lines.
The sportsbook lobby felt complicated but you’ll learn your way around it.
Soccer is a huge market for William Hill (as you might guess to be the case for a sportsbook that’s popular within United Kingdom and sponsors both England and Scotland national teams). They now offer betting lines on over 60,000 soccer games per year, so wherever you’re from, they’ve got you covered in all likelihood.
In-play betting has gotten increasingly popular in the sports betting market in general. William Hill has recognized the opportunity and in-play games now bring-in around half of their turnover.
William Hill has plenty of leagues and games covered from several countries. Still, I was surprised to find out that, for example, the Finnish hockey league (”SM-Liiga”) was missing even though it’s one of the most reputable hockey leagues in the world, and the same was true for ”Veikkausliiga,” the premier football league in Finland. William Hill has covered British sports extremely well (as one might expect) but I wouldn’t recommend this site to our Finnish visitors.
Problems with the Poker Client
You can only install William Hill Poker if you have a Windows computer. I have an iMac, so I had to use the instant-play version of the poker client – in other words, I played within the web browser.
Or at least tried to play.
Even though I have a 100mb internet connection, the experience was too laggy for my liking, and the graphics looked poor on my 27-inch Retina display. That was not all, though: the poker client froze the second I received my cards (I could only hear the software telling me to act but there was nothing I could do):
I have no idea what’s going on in this screenshot. It’s my turn – I can hear the game urging me to act – but there’s nothing I can do.
So What About the Casino?
I decided to go ahead and try the Vegas-styled games. I chose Wish Upon a Jackpot and pressed ”Play Now,” only to see the following notification:
A streak of bad luck and I haven’t even started playing yet!
I had now tried to play twice (first poker then casino games) and been unsuccessful both times. If I was a regular customer and not someone who’s out to write a William Hill review, I would have probably given up here. But there I was 15 minutes later, determined to finish this review with style.
So I went ahead and chose White King – after all, I’ve always liked lions. And…
… it finally worked!
It was a struggle but I got there. Here’s my reward: a majestic 0.50€ win.
The game loaded in a few seconds and there I was, ready to play. Instantly, they wanted me to allow pop-ups for williamhill.com – I wondered why, considering how nothing good ever comes out of pop-ups. The game seemed to function just fine, but I thought it could have something to do with the actual gameplay experience. Nope, it was just to bombard me with three advertisements before I even got a chance to spin the reel.
After getting rid of the ads, I was still unable to play. Apparently, the deposit went to my poker balance, so now I had to go to my account page and transfer the money to my casino balance. (By the way, I lost 0.05€ during the poker game for not acting after posting blinds – normally I’d leave that issue alone but since it’s such a small sum of money – however, for the purposes of writing this review, I thought it would be best to see how the customer service were going to react to this issue – more about that lower.)
Then I finally got to play for real. Here are some screenshots:
Got a straight when playing Jacks or Better.
The roulette game has nice graphics.
I won nothing throughout several spins on the Incredible Hulk.
I love the graphics in this Playtech-powered blackjack game.
The Spider-Man game was fun.
William Hill Casino offers a 100% up to £150 first deposit bonus. The bonus has a 20x wagering requirement (deposit+bonus) but that only goes for slots and scratch cards; if you want to play roulette games, Casino Hold’em or Pai-Gow, the requirement is 80x; if you want to play baccarat, blackjack games (excluding Blackjack Switch and Pontoon), craps, or video poker, the requirement is 100x.
For example, if you were to deposit £150 (for which you’d get a £150 bonus), you would have to place a total of £6000 worth of bets on slot machines or scratch cards in order to complete the bonus and be allowed to withdraw your winnings. This is one of the better bonuses in the online casino market considering the wagering requirements. The casino bonus is valid for 30 days after registering.
William Hill recently opened a Macau-styled online casino (before doing so they already had a “regular” online casino and a Vegas-styled casino). It’s certainly an interesting addition – you can experience Macau on your computer with games that are different from what we’re used to seeing online – oh, and they have live dealers and all.
The lobby of William Hill’s Macau-styled casino.
The live dealer casino has a min. betting limit of 3€ and max. betting limit of 10,000€.
Remember when I lost that 0.05€ in the poker game because the poker client froze on me and I unable to act after posting blinds? As mentioned, this was a good opportunity to test the quality of their customer service, so here I was, in the waiting line for their live chat support:
I waited almost exactly 03:25 minutes for the chat to start.
22 minutes later, I was still waiting for Kim the chat support agent to solve the case. Finally, Kim had done her check-up, and declared: ”As I have checked your account, there’s no broken games recorded.”
Well, I still had the screenshot you saw earlier in this article, so I instantly attached that to the chat as proof. 15 minutes later Kim tells me she’s still there and proceeds to disappear for another 5 minutes, until…
It took Kim 50 minutes to reach her verdict.
Kim solved the issue (or so I thought)! I would be happy with the outcome if it hadn’t taken 50 minutes. Oh, and the fact that the money never appeared on my account. I just didn’t have it in me to start a new chat conversation.
You can reach William Hill’s customer service via live chat, phone, e-mail and even Twitter, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. As you can tell, being available in many ways means little if the actual customer service experience is bad – for example, many criticize Pinnacle Sports for only having e-mail support but I have no complaints because they do it so well.
WilliamHill.com is best-suited for U.K. sports bettors. I had a below average experience at William Hill’s casino and poker room, so I wouldn’t recommend anyone to sign-up just for those. This site has a long history of being a reliable gambling operator, and as one of the biggest online bookmakers in the U.K., they’re constantly under the public eye, so I’d feel safe betting money here.