William Hill sells UK racing trackside betting network

FTSE bookmaker William Hill has confirmed the sale of its on-course betting points/stalls network worth £2 million, ending its trackside presence within UK racing.

First established in 1934, William Hill has chosen to dispose its entire 82 racecourse pitch network to independent racing bookmaker Sid Hooper.

The diminishing returns of its on-course network sees William Hill prioritise its horseracing services through its racecourse betting shops and digital verticals. Furthermore, the FTSE bookmaker will retain a brand presence within UK racing, acting as lead sponsor of ITV Racing.

Under the leadership of CEO Philip Bowcock and CFO Ruth Prior, William Hill continues to execute its corporate transformation programme, prioritising group operational cost savings and US market growth opportunities.

The transformation programme has seen William Hill reduce all in-stadia wagering properties with the bookmaker offloading its Newcastle and Sunderland Greyhound tracks to Arena Racing in 2017.

William Hill becomes the latest UK retail bookmaker to terminate its on-course betting network, as Betfred and Ladbrokes ended their trackside presence in 2016.

Confirming the sale to the Racing Post, William Hill trading director Terry Pattinson said: “With a William Hill betting shop now at 41 racecourses, we have reviewed whether our rails operation continues to make commercial sense.

“Our focus now is to provide on-course customers with a full retail experience on the racecourse, so it makes sense to move away from our rails operation, hence, we have agreed a sale with Racecourse Pitches Ltd. We wish them the best of luck with their new expanded operations.”

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