Founded in the UK in 1934, William Hill is one of the most respected names in bookmaking. Online, William Hill had been serving the entire Canadian market from its Gibraltar jurisdiction for nearly 20 years, prior to the opening of the newly regulated Ontario market. Though it has serious brand heritage in the market, and it had intentions to apply for a license to serve Ontario, things changed. Thus, no, William Hill is not one of the available legal Ontario betting sites or online casino providers. So what changed? Recently, it got sold, and sold again.
As a bookmaking and iGaming company, William Hill was well-diversified, with thousands of UK retail bookmakers, a US-based business, plus a varied international iGaming business as run through WilliamHill.com. With the boom in US online betting, William Hill became a target for US casino companies that lacked the technology and know-how with regard to getting their sportsbook business online.
Thus in September of 2020, Caesars Entertainment agreed to buy the entire company for $3.7 billon. Caesars however was only ever interested in the US assets of William Hill. Just a year later, Caesars agreed to sell the non-US assets of William Hill to 888 for $3 billion. The funny thing is this: both Caesars Sportsbook and 888 are now licensed sports betting providers in Ontario. If William Hill had been its own entity and had not been acquired by 888, they likely would have looked to enter the Ontario market in an official capacity. However, despite some initial indications about gaining the Ontario license for the William Hill brand, It appears as though its new owners, 888 Holdings, preferred to operate only its 888 brand in the Ontario market, for one reason or another.
It seems like registration is still possible, however, William Hill has removed the "Canadian" version of their site as well as all the information about their accepted Canadian payment methods. Thus for all intents and purposes, given this, we would estimate that William Hill essentially has little-to-no interest in serving customers across Canada, outside Ontario. Prior to the Ontario market open, and seeming closure for the rest of Canada from their Gibraltar site, William Hill accepted Visa, Mastercard, MuchBetter, EcoPayz, Instadebit and paysafecard.
When it comes to the main betting markets across most sports, William Hill has always looked to offer competitive odds margins - perhaps not the lowest margins, but certainly competitive. We like to look at popular NBA and NFL point spread or over/under betting markets to gauge this. When the odds are identical on both potential outcomes, their odds tend to look like 1.91/1.91 or -110/-110. This reflects an odds margin just below 5%, which is a solidly competitive margin, or sportsbook hold. The same margins come into play for NHL and MLB main betting markets.
As you might suspect for a bookie with UK pedigree, odds margins also remain competitive for sports with a more 'international' flavour. Cricket and rugby often see margins at the same rate as shown above for North American sports. 1X2 soccer margins can range from 5% to 7% more than 24 hours before the match, while margins can tighten, and become more competitive closer to kickoff.
William Hill offered an incredible number of betting markets on the sports that Canadians and Ontarians tend to love most. For NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB games, find anywhere from 150 to over 200 markets per game. They also tend to offer a wide array of futures, more than most providers. A lot of sites only offer basic outright winner markets, but William Hill offers much more, including Conference and Division outright winners at various times of each respective season.
For soccer, as you can imagine, William Hill has extensive soccer coverage. As current official partners of Tottenham Hotspur, they can have over 700 betting markets for any top level match. Since soccer is so widely covered, with so many leagues available for betting, it is actually best to navigate to your league events of choice using the 'Search' tool at the top left of your display. Given their UK heritage, cricket, rugby, boxing, Formula 1 and MMA coverage is extensive, with many markets and live betting.
William Hill offered mobile betting from apps and their mobile website. This allowed users to have the choice to play using the method that suits them best. We applauded this. The fact of the matter is that mobile apps of all kinds have been shown to have user data privacy concerns. By allowing Ontario users to play via their mobile web site, William Hill allows those users with privacy concerns to have a more secure option. Compare this to several iGaming Ontario brands like PointsBet, FanDuel and theScore Bet among others that only offer mobile play through an app, not through mobile iGaming Ontario betting sites. There is no reason to force app usage upon the consumer. The fact of the matter remains that forcing app usage likely indicates an operator that wishes to capitalize on your valuable data.
When you first viewed the William Hill site when it had a "Canadian" version, you might have though that it appeared to look a bit basic. There were no team logos or a lot of imagery. While you might have found this to be underwhelming visually, it actually helped to ensure that the site loaded very quickly as you navigate around the various pages, loading different leagues, or loading all the markets for a single event. This is not always a given, as many sites in the Ontario market are overloaded with imagery, which bogs down the load time. In our opinion, it is far more important to be able to move around the site very quickly.
Yes, William Hill calls the feature: 'Cash in my bet' or 'Cash in'. This feature, when available allows you to secure a partial win before your event reaches its natural end. All of our recommended sites offer some manner of early bet cashing feature, though all features are a bit different. Some are more robust than others. William Hill's version is fairly good, available on most sports, but does not include a partial cash out or auto cash out settings, like bet365 Ontario for example, which has the most robust feature of this kind.
Yes, they do. Esports betting will be allowed in Ontario's iGaming regime, so William Hill's coverage would have been welcome. How does their esports coverage stack up against the top Ontario esports betting sites? Not bad, but not the best, had they looked to become a legal provider. They do tend to cover a lot of events in the esports calendar under the main games like LoL CS:GO, Dota 2, Valorant and SC2, but not much beyond these. When it comes to the available betting markets for the events they do cover, the menu of available betting markets could disappoint some fans as there are often only match winner markets available. Odds margins here tend to be in the 7% to 8% range. Again, not bad, not great. A lot of esports odds margins hover in the 10% region, so William Hill is significantly better value than that.
As a provider, they do offer "Casino", "Live Casino", "Vegas", "Poker" and "Bingo" gaming verticals to those customers that it will currently serve. Unfortunately, it looks as though all of Canada is now off-the-table for William Hill. Players outside Ontario, in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, the Atlantic Provinces and the Territories may read about our recommended online casinos for Canada. All the operators that we recommend there are highly reputable and stable brands that all support CAD accounts and accept Interac e-transfers, which are now the most popular way to fund a gaming account.
If you are in Ontario, the situation is of course now different as there are fully legal Ontario online casinos. All of the iGaming Ontario casinos that we recommend as found through the previous link, also happen to support Interac e-transfers for deposits and withdrawals.
William Hill was one of the most popular "grey market" or "offshore" online sportsbooks and casinos for the Canadian market prior to the passing of Bill C-218, to legally allow single-event betting in the country. However, the current owners of the brand have seemingly moved to all-but-exit the Canadian market. Thus any new players in Canada that might have looked to register at William Hill will need to look at finding the best available alternatives, which provide an excellent user experience, competitive odds, innovative features, CAD accounts and popular banking methods, like those that we have identified and recommend to our readers.