Industry Reports

William Hill Closes Offices in Israel Leaving 200 Employees Unemployed

William Hill is planning on putting an end to its online operations in Tel Aviv, Israel and leaving more than 200 employees working for the company without a job. The sports betting leader will include the company’s offices in the Azrieli Towers Center, which necessitates the relocation and laying off of some of the employees.

The reason behind William Hill’s decision to close down the offices in Israel is the economic factors, some of which are the increasing real estate expenses, the growing strength of the Israeli shekel and the low rate of unemployment. Many tech companies with locations in the area have come to the conclusion that the country is a very expensive business location, in comparison to other cheaper options. This is why many companies in the tech field have decided to relocate to a more profitable place.

Representatives from the UK bookmaker company have been meeting with now former employees talking about the current situation and offering to some of them to change their workplace to either William Hill’s main office, which is located in London, UK, or some of its other locations in Europe, among which the one in Krakow or Gibraltar. However, there won’t be enough positions for all of them and it’s most likely that most of them will be laid off.

The company was founded by William Hill back in 1934, at a time when gambling was still illicit in Britain, and it managed to change the face of the gambling field for the time being. Presently, the bookmaking company has influence all around the world and makes it possible for anyone to make bet by phone and the Internet. It is the largest UK operator, representing more than 25 percent of the British and Irish market. Apart from the online sportsbook operations, William Hill offers online casino games, online bingo, “skill games”, and online poker.

The company’s offices in Israel were established back in 2008, when William Hill Online was introduced as a joint venture with Playtech, another gambling software developer, located in Isle of Man, in the Irish Sea. At that time most of the employees of the company were transferred from Playtech to William Hill Online. However, an important detail from the partnership of the two companies is that their collaboration was not very smooth.

There have been some inner issues, which eventually lead to the walkout of 180 employees working at the offices in Tel Aviv in 2011. As a result, William Hill decided it will be best to buy out the share of Playtech, which amounted to 30%. The deal happened in 2013 and was for £424 million.