Sportsbook Website Review
William Hill, a London-based bookmaker founded in England in 1934 and listed on the London Stock Exchange, is today one of the World’s biggest sports betting agencies employing more than 16 000 people and with annual revenues of 2,1 billion dollars.
Together with online Casinos, bingo and poker sites, it operates telephone and online betting operations alongside more than 2,400 licensed betting shops across the UK where it currently holds close to 25 per cent of the market.
In 2012 it set-up William Hill US with its focus on retail and mobile online sportsbooks in Nevada where a US Federal law prohibiting sports betting did not apply and quickly became the USA’s largest sports-betting business with 107 land-based race and sports betting outlets across Nevada.
It also grew its mobile online sports betting app into an industry leader.
After a Federal law prohibiting sports betting was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in May this year and New Jersey became the first state to lift the ban a month or so later, it was a no-brainer that William Hill would extend its Nevada betting interests and join the rush to open a sportsbook in New Jersey.
It purchased licenses to operate retail betting outlets from New Jersey’s Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey and the Ocean View Casino in Atlanta.
You can already place physical –land-based sports bets at bookmaking windows at Monmouth Park, just as you have always been able to do for horse racing, but you will need to wait for betting to be legalized in Georgia before you can do the same thing at the new, 7,500 square foot sportsbook bar lounge William Hill are developing in the heart of the Ocean View Casino.
The area will feature an integrated experience with a centre bar and will be surrounded by state-of-the-art video wall technology where sporting events can be followed while you are participating in live, ‘In-Play Betting’.
Alongside its already strongly established online mobile betting app in Nevada, it has also set-up one for New Jersey – and readied itself to spread its wings further when other US states join Nevada and New Jersey in allowing sports betting.
In this review we specifically look at its fledgling New Jersey operation where you will need to be 21 or older to bet, where online betting can be made via websites on PCs and laptops or Android or iOS apps on mobile devices like a smartphones and where you must, by law at this stage, do all your betting from somewhere inside New Jersey.
And don’t try to do it from anywhere else. Geo-tracking technology will pick it up and notify you that you are breaking the law.
The William Hill.US betting interface is not as appealing as that of its UK and Ireland based international European big brother, but with navy-blue, white and yellow as it colour theme, it is bold, businesslike and easy to navigate with most things you need to get started clearly visible.
A mobile banner along the top of the page gives you things like breaking betting news and advertizes promotions like the sign-up bonus at the time this review was written that promises, “Bet $50 and you’ll get “$50 in cash”.
The left side of the page is used to list William Hill’s ‘all sports’ menu with the US’s favourite sports listed on top.
The bottom of the page contains an FAQ feature and information on other matters under headlines like ‘Getting Started’, ’Payments’, ‘Sports Rules’, ‘Responsible Gambling’, ‘Promotions’ and ‘Where to get Help’.
The betting slip can be found in the top right-hand corner while the central area of the page is filled with columns and columns of the day’s most popular bets.
Along with horse racing which was the sport it was founded on in the 1930s, William Hill’s betting menu for New Jersey includes all of North America’s most popular professional sports like NFL football, MLB Baseball, NBA and WNB Basketball, NHL Ice Hockey as well as the biggest of the international sports such as soccer, tennis, golf, fight sports, auto-sport, cricket and rugby.
And along with live, in-play betting, its many betting markets include Spread, Money Line, Parlay, Round Robin, Futures, Proposition and Match-ups betting.
It does not compare with the extensive betting markets of the offshore William Hill sportsbook available in the UK and Europe but in the fledgeling New Jersey market, it’s reasonably competitive though no more than that.
Again William Hill’s NJ promotional program is OK but limited. At the time of this review, it was offering a bonus of $50 to new punters who make a bet of $50 but not much else.
Its offshore and Nevada sports promotions packages are both much more elaborate and appealing and clearly, in time its New Jersey package will be beefed up.
It offers professional and informed support/help 24/7 via live chat, e-mail and telephone and provides FAQs on many important issues and in general, customer support seems to be one of its strongest features.
With a sportsbook background of the kind William Hill has, you can be pretty sure that their tried and tested online security will keep your financial transactions and personal details safe and secure.
But surprisingly, you might find their deposit and withdrawal options rather limited when compared with some of their major New Jersey rivals.
At the time of this review, you could use MasterCard or Visa credit cards, eCheck, or a William Hills Pre-paid card funded by MasterCard or Visa to make deposits.
You could also make deposits at PayNearMe 7’11s and at the cashier’s cage at Ocean View Casino or at the Monmouth Park Racetrack betting windows.
In turn, you could make withdrawals using eCheck, a Pre-paid card or in cash from the Ocean View Casino or at Monmouth Park Racetrack. You could also have William Hill put a cheque in the post for you.
But that was it. There was no Paypal, Neteller or any of the other payment methods offered by their key rivals.
With the kind of international background William Hill New Jersey is coming from, I expected to see their New Jersey operation get off to a brighter start.
I expected to see a bigger and better sportsbook and more promotional activity, to say the least, but it hasn’t happened just yet, perhaps because the US version of William Hill has had things too easy for too long in relatively isolated Nevada where they have been the top dogs of the sportsbook world for some time.
An international gambling juggernaut of their standing, however, is not likely to allow mediocrity to slow the start of their latest growth initiative in a market that could develop at a heady pace as more US states follow New Jersey and make sports betting legal.
So don’t write off William Hill’s Team America. We could be hearing a lot more from them in the not too distant future so why not sign up with them and be in a position to enjoy the upgrades that are sure to come.
Sign up now. I doubt you’ll regret it.