More Problems For William Hill

Gaming giant William Hill has received a lot of bad press recently. Most of it is undeserved and was caused by actions beyond the control of the company. An employee walkout in Israel, Bulgaria and the Philippines made headlines across the UK and several gaming journals covered the story. According to the London Times managers in Tel Aviv tried to undermine operations by offering bribes to staff who participated in the walkout.  The move was in response to rumors that Hill planned to move its operations elsewhere. An unnamed employee told reporters “We received an e-mail when this all started. It convinced me, and I think all of us, that if we stuck by local managers and the rest of the team we would keep a job here.”  Employees in Tel Aviv said managers disabled phone lines and blocked all work related email accounts.

The latest bingo news reports indicate that workers have returned and seven senior William Hill managers have been sacked. The company attributed the work stoppage to the resignation of Eyal Sanoff on September 27th. Sanoff was the chief marketing officer of the Ad-agency business in Tel Aviv. Sanoff is also an associate of Playtech founder Teddy Sagi. Inside sources said that Sanoff told Jim Mullen, William Hill’s chief operating officer, that he is only involved with William Hill “to protect Teddy Sagi’s interests.” The dispute is ongoing and William Hill has hired former Israeli intelligence staff to ferret out any wrongdoing.

William Hill has another problem. The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has had some promotional offers banned on the basis of one complaint. That’s one person out of a population of 62,300,000! This is not the first time the ASA has banned advertising on the basis of a single complaint. The ban involves William Hill’s online casino operations. At issue is a promotional offer on the William Hill casino website that stated “£150 Bonus for all new casino players.” Smaller text said “* Requires a £35 minimum deposit, terms and conditions apply.” The person complaining challenged the claim “£150 Bonus For all new casino players” and said the promotion was misleading because they understood that deposits between £35 and £150 would be matched by the online casino.

William Hill answered the complaint and said that the statement in smaller type that read “* Requires a £35 minimum deposit, terms and conditions apply” made it clear that some terms and conditions applied to the promotional offer. The company said that if players clicked on the ‘promotions’ tab and then clicked ‘£150 bonus option’ on the drop down menu all of the terms and conditions associated with offer were clearly shown. The ASA upheld the complaint and said that the ad violated CAP Code (Edition 12) rules 3.1, 3.3 (Misleading advertising) and 3.9 (Qualifications). William Hill operated several gaming sites including one of the most popular online bingo sites in the UK. It would appear that the ASA is taking a tough stance for online gaming companies.

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