There has been a bit of a hoo-hah at William Hill after a mass walk-out by their staff based in Tel Aviv last week. This industrial action by their employees has led to a 5 per cent drop in their shares, as well as fears that the betting site will not be able to cater for all of its online users.
Last Sunday 16th October, (a regular, working day for Israelis) it has been reported that 180 staff walked out of the offices, following a rumour that William Hill were planning to relocate their online marketing and customer support offices.
The betting company denied this story, and assured all William Hill Online users that the revolt had not in any way affected the website, and that all areas would function as normal. An insider has voiced their belief that there was a distinct possibility that website operations could be affected, despite the fact that the large majority or William Hill’s online operations are run out of Gibraltar.
A few of William Hill’s senior staff – among them believed to be Henry Birch, chief executive for William Hill Online, and COO Jim Mullen – have flown out over the last week to the overseas areas where William Hill has its operations, in order to try their hardest to combat any issues and answer any questions that other employees have regarding the Tel Aviv walkout.
According to one newspaper, senior William Hill Online managers in Tel Aviv, Manila, and Bulgaria are being investigated in a disciplinary context. The business and financial news site, Bloomberg, reported that Eyal Sanoff, chief marketing officer in Tel Aviv, has resigned. The company, however, has insisted that “The vast majority of employees of the marketing team in Tel Aviv have good working relationships with the business and with colleagues across William Hill Online.”
Mr Sagi, founder of Playtech (the online gambling software company, and half the driving force behind William Hill Online), and Mr Sanoff set up the Tel Aviv outfit, which was bought out in its entirety by Playtech, and then eventually William Hill Online.
William Hill hit the internet in 1998, and over one million online account holders are now customers; making them the most profitable online betting business in the United Kingdom. They are also one of the oldest, with their first shop opening in 1966 – just five years after betting became legal in the UK.