William Hill aims to create 10 innovations a year

William Hill is looking to breathe new life into horse race betting, and has set its sights on virtual reality as the means to do so.

The company is aiming to create up to 10 new innovations a year as it looks to reinvigorate live sports betting, and has unveiled one of its first prototypes, created in collaboration with production house Unit9.

This uses Google cardboard and GPS race track data which can map the horses' exact movements and emulate a live jockey experience for the customer.

Crispin Nieboer, director of director of corporate development & innovation at William Hill, praised only Paddy Power as a betting brand for its ability at staying ahead of the curve. "The dangers with businesses like betting and gaming is that there is a tendency to rest on your laurels, there is a regulatory hurdle, and strong brand awareness for some of the encumbents who have been here for years.

"But there is a danger with that because if you sit back and rest on your laurels other people in the technology worlds in other industries will come and eat your lunch. It's an historic thing; moving from retail high strret to online, from mobile, social and smartwatch - some of our competitors are respoding to that but others just aren’t," he said.

The companies unveiled the prototype at Digital Shoreditch yesterday (11 May) and The Drum caught up with them at the event to get a look under the hood of the project and find out about next steps.

See the above video for the full interview.

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