William Hill's Acquisition of Tom Waterhouse: Cause to WorryPublished August 14, 2013 by OCR Editor
Is the William Hill/Waterhouse acquisition a good thing?
William Hill, the United Kingdom's largest bookmaker, recently acquired the successful Australian betting company, Tom Waterhouse, for a nice chunk of change; $34 million to be exact. What this means is that William Hill will now have access to Tom Waterhouse's extensive client list; and this is what is causing anti-gambling advocates to worry.
Tim Costello, chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Task Force, fears that William Hill will now use their client list to target gamblers with personalized offers that will end up losing money for players and increasing revenue for the company. For example, William Hill can offer losing players higher odds and winning players lower odds.
But as Gary Robinson, editor of horseracingaustralia points out, this is exactly how bookmakers make money - through manipulating the client list and targeting offers to players based on their past gambling history.
Robinson adds that this is not only bad news for novice gamblers, but for professional and semi-professional gamblers as well; when William Hill analyzes that data and looks for winners, they will then discourage them from placing bets. The discouragement, of course, will not be outright, but through targeted specials, raising of odds and other manipulations.
The worries caused by this acquisition are further validated by the fact that in March of this year, William Hill acquired the company Sporting Bet for a whopping $670 million. Robinson fears that William Hill will not stop with two and will continue to buy-out Australian betting companies until it becomes a powerhouse in Australia.