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William Hill plc ( ) is one of the largest bookmakers in the United Kingdommarker. Its headquarters are in the north Londonmarker suburb of Wood Greenmarker and in Leedsmarker, West Yorkshire. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

History

The Company was founded by William Hill in 1934. It changed hands many times being acquired by Sears Holdings in 1971, then by Grand Metropolitan in 1988, then by Brent Walker in 1989, then by Nomura in 1997 and Cinven and CVC Capital Partners in 1999. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2002.

It acquired Sunderland Greyhound Stadium in 2002 and Brough Park Greyhound Stadium in 2003.

In 2005 William Hill bought 624 betting offices in the UK, Republic of Irelandmarker, Isle of Manmarker and Jerseymarker from Stanley Leisure for £504 million: the acquisition took the company past Ladbrokes into first position in the UK betting market.

In 2008 Ralph Topping was appointed Chief Executive: he took a Saturday job at a William Hill betting shop near Hampden Parkmarker, Glasgowmarker, in 1973 and worked his way up through the ranks.

In November 2008 William Hill announced a joint venture partnership with Playtech to enhance its online operations.

Operations

The Company operates in the UKmarker, the Republic of Irelandmarker and most recently have opened chains in Madridmarker in Spainmarker under the 'Victoria' banner. It also offers betting by phone and over the internet as well as through its bookmaking shops. The internet section has grown fastest in recent years, although its telebetting call centres took 125,000 bets on the 2007 Grand National and its betting shops process more than 889,000 betting slips on an average day.

As well as its online sportsbook operations, the company also offers online casino games, skill games, online bingo and online poker.

The poker room sponsors the William Hill Poker Grand Prix, and the company promotes sporting literature through its annual William Hill Sports Book of the Year award.

On August 27th, 2009, William Hill joined forces with Málaga CF, a football team in Spainmarker's top division, La Liga. The William Hill logo is now shown on the front of the Andalusian team's shirt and Hill's logo has a major presence at Málaga's home ground, La Rosaleda.

Outside the United Kingdom

In September 2009, the company participated in the bidding for the first online gambling licence in Indiamarker, expressing their interest to enter the India betting market.

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