William Hill take over betting shops on 34 courses bringing their estate to 41
William Hill have massively expanded their racecourse betting shop portfolio with the addition of 34 courses to their existing estate, meaning they have a presence on 41 British tracks.
Hills have signed deals with Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) – who also worked on the arrangements for independent racecourses Leicester, Newton Abbot, Plumpton, Salisbury, Stratford and Taunton – Scottish Racing and the seven Yorkshire courses where they do not already operate.
They succeed Betfred, who are withdrawing from having betting shops at 50 courses in response to the tracks setting up the Britbet pool betting operation.
William Hill will be JCR's exclusive betting shop provider except at Cheltenham, where they will operate at least six facilities alongside the existing Star Sports and The Winning Post shops.
Steven White, William's Hill's divisional director, said on Thursday the firm had invested around £1.5 million into the racecourse estate, and added: "It's a bit of a one-off opportunity to secure as many racetracks as possible.
"We're absolutely delighted. It's still a big part of our business, there is a big landscape change going on in retail betting and it's time to get back to our grassroots.
"Racing is still 60 per cent of our traditional over-the-counter business, so to get on to racecourses, to take advantage of exposure to two-thirds of up to six million racegoers nationally, we're really excited about."
Racegoers attending the first two days of the July festival at Newmarket will see the change immediately.
White said: "The big one is Newmarket – it's Betfred today and it's us tomorrow. We've got to wait for racegoers to leave, for Betfred to count up takings and remove their kit. We've planned all the critical stuff well in advance, but that's been a great challenge."
JCR group betting director Dickon White said it was pleased to have reached agreement with William Hill.
He said: "They've proved an excellent partner in other areas over time and provided a compelling five-year offer through a competitive process."
William Hill shops on Scottish courses will open at Hamilton on Saturday, Perth on Sunday and Ayr on Monday.
Scottish Racing's Delly Innes said: "By partnering with William Hill, Scotland’s largest high-street bookmaker, we’re providing customers at all our racecourses with a complete betting experience."
William Hill's current racecourse betting shop portfolio
Doncaster, Wolverhampton, Windsor, Southwell, Lingfield, Worcester and Ripon.
Courses set to join William Hill's estate
Aintree, Ayr, Beverley, Carlisle, Cartmel, Catterick, Cheltenham, Epsom, Exeter, Hamilton Park, Haydock Park, Huntingdon, Kelso, Kempton Park, Leicester, Market Rasen, Musselburgh, Newbury, Newmarket, Newton Abbot, Nottingham, Perth, Plumpton, Pontefract, Redcar, Salisbury, Sandown Park, Stratford-On-Avon, Taunton, Thirsk, Warwick, Wetherby, Wincanton, York.
Members can read the latest exclusive interviews, news analysis and comment available from 6pm daily on racingpost.com