William Hill Decide To Drop UK Affiliates

Published On 8th March 2024

Sadly this site has become more of a record of the demise of affiliates within the UK Gambling industry as opposed to telling players about the best sites, promotions and offers. Such is the way of the world in 2024. Joining a continually growing list of operators happy to kick long term partners squarely in the nuts are William Hill. Having observed over time the cold and callous way that Sky, Betfair and Paddy Power reneged on their "lifetime commission" agreements and tore up affiliate contracts with little grace or professionalism, William Hill - now owned by 888 - decided that they'd do exactly the same. Mind they did manage to make a right mess of the whole thing too.

Important Please Read

On 7th March 2024 many William Hill affiliates woke up to important email in connection with their participation in William Hill's affiliate program. Those of us who have been around a while didn't have to read on beyond that because you could guess exactly what was next. Sure enough, the email gave us the excuse "strategic efforts to streamline and consolidate our operations" along with a reference to the terms of agreement (in other words tough luck we're not paying you ever again) and the request to remove reference to our brands from each of your channels. There was no thank you for working with us, no apology for the decision but they kindly did say we could reapply "to participate in our affiliate program" which seems odd considering they're kicking us out of it. Who in their right mind would re-apply to an operator who's just done this? Unusually access to affiliate accounts was still available - when Paddy Power and Betfair cull their partners they simple stop all access to stats and data because they're pathetic like that.

Clarifications

However things took a slight turn when William Hill sent out a second email later in the day to clarify their position. According to the second email we received "termination only applies in part to the William Hill brand for Vegas and Sport in the United Kingdom territory. Your participation in all other brands and markets (including, for the avoidance of doubt, UK Poker, and other territories outside of the UK) remains active". In other words William Hill are pretty much dropping all UK affiliate activity, other than selected partners, but you're good to promote anything else such as poker and to international visitors. Which is great unless you're a UK affiliate who mainly promotes William Hill Sports and William Hill Vegas. The communication says nothing about bingo but then they sneakily dropped links to that product and incorporated it into Vegas over a year ago. At least they chose to apologise for the confusion rather than closing down partnerships of 15/20 years that ultimately will effect income to small/medium affiliates that could result in job losses or closures.

Bingo At The Dog & Duck

Whilst this kind of thing is frustrating and annoying, it's also not unexpected. Other big gambling operators have pulled this stunt before so it's inevitable that history will repeat itself. As a mainly UK bingo affiliate we're not quite sure how we're supposed to promote William Hill Bingo when the platform itself had downgraded the product into the Vegas channel. Operators are making it harder for their products to be promoted and then wondering why they're not being promoted by affiliates. But who's at fault? Of course it's the affiliates! That said William Hill has always been a good brand for us promotion wise and that's perhaps why they're not getting quite the same level as lambastation as Paddy Power/Betfair. The only problem now is that the number of brands to tell visitors know about is getting smaller and smaller. In recent months Tombola and The Sun Bingo have dropped from our listings. If this continues the only bingo we'll be able to tell you about is the weekly game at The Dog & Duck!

And So What Now?

Eventually there has to come a point where a bingo portal that's not able to connect players to quality bingo sites has to call it a day. Thankfully we're still able to work with Mecca, Buzz, Gala, Jackpotjoy and others but we don't know how long that'll be for. If we don't send enough players then they might consider culling us. But with bingo in decline, promotions non-existent and operator rules so tight you're pretty much hamstrung from the start it can be difficult to generate traffic. It doesn't take a genius to realise that we're on a hiding to nothing as a UK affiliate in the bingo industry. Still we've had a good run and done what we can within the confines of UKGC rules and Operator terms. We'll try and keep it going but to be honest there's little enthusiasm left for this industry and the operators within it.


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