William Hill kicks off plans to anticipate digital disruptions and drive mobile gaming revenue

William Hill is positioning its business to anticipate digital "disruptions” and further drive mobile gaming revenue which has jumped 126 per cent year on year.

The UK bookmaker has kicked off the strategy with the launch of its first ever tech hub in East London Silicon Roundabout and is now on the hunt for mobile developers and engineers to head up the new proposition.

Speaking to The Drum William Hill’s chief technology officer Finbarr Joy said the aim is to ensure the brand can adjust fast enough to disruptive technologies so as to benefit from them, rather than miss out on opportunities and fall behind its competitors.

“This reflects the reality that the environments our customers use will be likely change again in a few years…but we don’t yet know how. We are filling in the capabilities to react quickly,” he said.

This involves “breaking out” of the regular, slow, corporate planning routes, and creating a team which can act fast and make major changes when necessary within weeks if needed, according to Joy.

“The reaction time for businesses is diminishing – that ability to react quickly enough when a disruption occurs – that time cycle is reducing.

“We want to be able to move fast when something disrupts our market place - disrupt rather than be disrupted.

“We have seen traditionally successful businesses in other sectors wiped out by not reacting. We are fortunate that we have strong brand and are dominant in our market but we want to take that into digital channels.

"We don’t want to be complacent we want to be driving innovation and what’s the best way to prevent surprise? Create it,” he said.

The brand, which generates more than 2.7 million daily website visits, will focus on driving mobile gaming revenue via new products, and this will be the remit for new recruits for the London tech hub, according to Joy.

“That’s the immediate talent set we are looking for. The core principle in establishing this operation is to be the first building blocks in a person’s online life therefore we have to be with absolute parity with all screens and platforms they are using,” he added.

William Hill generates an average 9,000 bets a minute during peak Grand National trade and has outlets in the US, Australia and Spain as well as the UK.

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