William Hill – the founder of one of the biggest sportsbook companies in the world

William Hill – the founder of one of the biggest sportsbook companies in the world

The founder of sportsbook companies

William Hill is a wide-spread name in the community of experienced players. He created a company that became the subject of active discussions, and role model not only for players but also for operators in the field of bookmaking.

Young years

The great bookmaker was born 16 July 1903. William spent his childhood in the Birminghamcity, one of the biggest cities of the United Kingdom at that time.

Despite the fact, his father was an artist and his mother was engaged in farming, the income of the family wasn’t big enough to provide William with carefree childhood as he had ten siblings.When he was 12, young William had to leave school to earn money at his aunt’s farm. Several years later he started to work at a local plant.

After he started responsible life at the age of fifteen, he started to organize illegal sports betting.But at the age of sixteen years William had to leave the bookie “profession” due to the fact that he was one of the volunteer army, formed to fight for the independence of Ireland.

First sportsbook

William Hill protected interests of his country for six years and then, in 1825 he decided to come back to his bygonesportsbook business. This attempt, though, was doomed to failure due to the fact that the players, who made bets there were professionals and made well-thoughtand explored bets. Thus William became a bankrupt losing all his savings.

However, Williamstill had his hope and enthusiasmlingered on. He spent the following four years for assets formation and in 1929he moved to London. It was here that William’s career started moving up through the ranks. He started with the organization of bets on a pony, then his bet became bigger and more ambitious.

In 1934, William Hill decided to open his first full-scale illegal gambling facility.
Thanks to his resourcefulness and prudence, William manages not only to accumulate new capital, but also to open his first illegal gambling facility. He rented an office at one of the main streets of London, got new clients and moved to a new business plan level.

The only problem William could face was illegitimacy of his business. As he was savvy, he managed to somehow bypass the problems with legislation and continued to work at gambling business.
The trick of legalization of this business was in that William never accepted the bets in cash,he did it only with money transfers, or loans. That way the government had nary chance to convict William of a criminal offence.

During this timethe development of the most famous sportsbook called “William Hill” began. Sometime after that William managed to rent a more massive office, which brought the sportsbook to a much higher level.

In 1944, the company issued first sportsbook coupon with fixed odds to a football match.
After sixteen years of existence of the company, the competing company Ladbrokes stole the idea of William. Without pausing to thinkWilliam filed lawsuit against Ladbrokes. The case was won,and the capital of the company was increased

Specialties of William Hill

For the momentWilliam Hill is a leading sportsbook not only in the UK but also in the global market. The formula for successis integrity towards its clients. In the middle of XX century, most of the sportsbooks didn’t pay the clients their winnings, while the company of William always made their payments on time – that was one of the key principles of the company.

William hill has always paid the players honestly, and this principle is one of the most powerful until now.
In his practice there was a case when 500-pound bet was placed for the win of the young horse with odds 101 to 1. The horse miraculously finished first and William paid to the player. William appreciated his clients and was always honest towards them.

In 54th year of the XX century William created a new company called “Holder’s Investment Trust”. He transferred all the shares to his new company and was able to trade them on the London stock exchange. In the six years of trading on the stock exchange, the capital of the company was increased by 5 million pounds. It was the first bookmaker in the world history, who was able to sell stocks on the exchange.


Until the sixties of the twentieth century, gambling was illegal in the UK. However, in 1960 he law, that announced the gambling transactions are absolutely legal form of business, was passed. Within 6 months about 10,000 sportsbook offices and a thousand of casinos were opened.

William Hill Casino and sportsbook officeswere opened all over the country. Almost all the sections of the major cities had their sportsbook offices and became available to all the habitats of the country. By the way, at the moment William Hill is one of the most popularonline gambling facilities, where anyone who will take the trouble can play gambling games for real money and for free.

Such combination of circumstanceswasn’t too great for William as he understood that massive spread of sportsbook business could bring to lethal outcome for the business. This was initially an illegal business and this very fact attracted only the members of higher society, the elite, and now working class could place bets.

Despite all the potential negative consequences, the company William Hill began opening new offices. Undoubtedly, the income of the William grew with unprecedented speed.Blinded by this success, William decided to open a chain of betting shops. In 1966, he was the owner of the huge number of sportsbook offices.


The hobby of William was closely connected with his business. He loved horses and his business started off with horse betting. In forties of XX century William started to combine his hobby with his business, He became the owner of horses who were the leaders of some horse races.

There was a case William made a bet of about four thousand pounds and lost it. After that, William stopped placing bets on his own horses but didn’t refuse of his hobby.

William continued to breed horses as he had many farms to that moment and couldn’t just stop.
In the seventies William left sportsbook business but visited racetrack regularly.

William hill passed away in a symbolic manner, like everything he did. In October 1971, during the horse race William had heart attack. The famous sportsbook died at the age of sixty eight.
Memories of a great bookmaker

William Hill was one of the few who climbed to the top from the downs of society and reach incredible highs fulfilling his dream. He made sports betting not just a profitable business but also a gambling art.
After he passed away, William Hill was bought by different owners. Despite the way of the company wasn’t simple, it saved its original name throughout the whole history. Thanks to the principles of William, it’s name – William Hill was some sort of symbol of success.

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