Bet365, William Hill vie for in-play crown, seek to avoid Premier League wrath

bet365-william-hill-in-runningBet365 and William Hill are running neck and neck for the title of in-play betting market leader. A 14-day survey conducted in November and December 2011 by put the privately-held Bet365 at the top of the heap in terms of the number of events – 534, encompassing 20 different sports – on which a customer could make an in-running wager. Sportingbet came second with 358 events, came third with 317, followed by Ladbrokes (313) and William Hill (297). However, Hills earned top marks in the category of possible bets per event, averaging 53, well ahead of Ladbrokes (30), Sportingbet (25), Bet365 (24) and Bwin (23). Football was far and away the top sport for in-play wagering, with more than two-thirds of the events involving the beautiful game. Basketball came second, followed by tennis and volleyball.

In-running isn’t the only sector in which Bet365 and Hills are duking it out for recognition. Both outfits were recently brought to the attention of the Premier League after their adverts appeared on websites illegally broadcasting live footie action. The Premier peeps are a mite sensitive about anybody watching their matches without Rupert Murdoch’s say-so, but given that Bet365 owns one of the League’s 20 squads, the matter is doubly sensitive. However, it appears the cockup is down to Bet365’s ad agency, not the Coates family. As for Hills logo appearing on a Russian website illegally broadcasting live Premiership action in the same week Hills signed on to be the Football Association’s official supporter/betting partner, well, er, d’oh? A Hills spokesman told the Express: “It appears that somebody has affiliated to us officially and we pay them money according to how many people click on the banners they put up online. But they have then used our banners on other illegal websites. Now we know about it we are taking action to stop that.”

We’ll leave you with this leftover tidbit from the recent UK parliamentary select committee hearing with ‘white list’ regulators. Andre Wilsenach, embattled exec director of the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, was apparently so desperate to offload some of the taint dumped on his plate by the implosion of former licensee Full Tilt Poker that he decided to throw one of his competitors under the bus. Wilsenach told the parliamentarians that the AGCC had clamped down on operators that had tried to get away with what obliquely referred to as ‘certain unacceptable activities.’ Faced with the AGCC’s Galahad-like purity, these companies chose instead to pitch their tents in, “[Wilsenach] believed, Malta.” You, sir, have crossed a line…