William Hill online to enter the Italian market
William Hill online, complete with their online Casino, Gaming, Poker, Bingo and Sportsbook elements, are set to launch a new website - www.williamhill.it - on midnight 19th July 2011. The move comes after Will Hill's casino product and certain games have proved very popular among the Italian market, and the new website will be accompanied by a television advertising campaign this month.
Jim Mullen, COO of William Hill Online, announced recently to eGaming Review that the AAMS licence is “for all products, although we need to go through the final stages of the licensing process for bingo.”
He also stated that the summer launch was one of the main reasons for prioritising the casino product, which they have found is popular in Italy at this time of year, explaining that “we looked at the Italian market for 16 or 17 months and have seen how many people have been playing certain games".
He continued: “Casino had specifications and testing schedules in place and was the most appropriate product for us to launch first. Now you can couple that with AAMS approval too.”
“For the Italian gaming and betting public we found the most important thing was trust, and the heritage that a British gaming company brings to it. There was already some knowledge of the name but it’s more about people’s response to the heritage of the British gaming and bookmaking industry. It was largely because of this that the company chose to decline offers of local partnerships, a move which demonstrates the company is “there for the long-haul.”
The television advertising campaign that will head the marketting drive for the launch of the new Italian website is said to involve the heritage of the William Hill brand being made the focus, and according to Mullen:
"The brand itself has a fantastic heritage and brings trust within the brand name"
"When you see our campaign you will see we're building on brand values of the William Hill brand, which is one of the most valuable t ools we have within our business."
The new Italian venture comes after Will Hill terminated a retail-focused effort with Codere in 2008, which CEO Henry Birch later explained that "We could have made a business out of them but it would ahve required more investment and we felt it would be better placed elsewhere."
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