William Hill Introduce Digital Betting Shop

Betting shops have seen many changes in recent years. Now William Hill has gone a few steps forward by creating a state-of-the-art digital unit. Are we ready for this digitised experience?

The new-style shop is in Leeds and was launched on Saturday October 1. Former England goalkeeper Nigel Martyn, ex-Leeds Rhinos player Stevie Ward and the Yorkshire and England cricketer Craig White were all in attendance.

So what’s this new style bookies all about? William Hill says that it will see customers using an eco-friendly paperless environment. Try explaining that to the many pensioners who regularly go to bookies to bet on the 3.30 at Sedgefield on a rainy day.

Innovations include ‘integrated research tables’ that can see customers getting access to digital versions of the Racing Post. That will see them reading the most important details about the latest betting markets. Those with their mobile phones will be pleased to see the charging stations that are present.

The UK Retail Director of William Hill is Garry Fenton. Talking about the new-style bookies, he said that the company is “presenting a brand new, player-centric betting shop environment that delivers a fun, immersive and digital experience, with innovation at its core.”

All very well but at the end of the day, customers just want to place bets and hopefully win a few quid. It could just end up like self-service checkouts in supermarkets. You know, the ones that need staff standing by them because people don’t know how to use them.

The days of just reading the copies of the Racing Post that are on the walls seem though to be coming to an end.

Mr Fenton added that they will also be offering their customers “a wide range of cutting-edge digital features.” Player safety has “been key to this transformation.” The launch in Leeds has been hailed by the UK Retail Director as “a huge success” and similar shops will be introduced in the future.

Other features include the testing of in-venue operating enhancements. This includes a real-time dashboard that will allow William Hill to understand customer dwell times during peak periods during the day.
There are also ‘gantry cameras’ that will enable the bookmakers to see which betting materials are being used most.

Customer safety remains of great importance to William Hill. ‘Own Your Game’ is a player safety area with lots of information about safer gambling issues and support that can be received. Their Head of Marketing is Ben McCann and he said that the new style bookies will “make for a far more enjoyable betting experience.” He added that it will help “attract a new audience.”