William Hill Closes Stockholm Office, Merges UK Retail, Digital Divisions


British gambling operator William Hill is set to close its Gametek Office in Stockholm in the latest move undertaken by the company to simplify its operating structures.

William Hill said that the closure of its Stockholm office was a natural step in the integration of MRG Groupโ€™s assets within the larger organization.

The major gambling operator purchased MRG, parent company of iGaming brand Mr Green, last year as it sought a strong online partner to boost its digital performance.

William Hill will close its Gametek Office in phases. The space is planned to be fully shuttered by the end of 2020 trading. The company said that it has begun a consultation process with employees at its Stockholm office. Some of them will be transferred to other locations.

The operator also noted that as it has moved to close its office in Stockholm, it would simultaneously bolster its Krakow tech unit by creating new roles at its Polish hub that will be supporting global growth projects.

In a statement confirming the closure of its Gametek Office, William Hill said that its plans involve adopting a โ€œteam-based approach to product development in which teams are aligned to the business area they support.โ€

As a result, the company said that it had to restructure the right number of teams and with the right skills, and that it has had to make โ€œsome tough decisions about locations.โ€ William Hill noted that aside from Krakow, it will also be migrating some of the work at its soon-to-close Stockholm office to its Leeds hub.

UK Online, Retail Merger

News about the closure of William Hillโ€™s Gametek Office emerge as the company also announced that it is set to merge its UK online and retail divisions into a single unit. The combined division will be led by the bookmakerโ€™s online managing director Phil Walker, while retail division chief Nicola Frampton will step down after ten years with the gambling operator.

Mr. Walker and Ms. Frampton will work together during a six-month transition period.

The combination of William Hillโ€™s UK retail and digital divisions comes as the latest of a series of changes implemented within the group under Chief Executive Ulrik Bengtsson since he took charge last September.

The company said that the decision to merge its two UK divisions was made as it looks to focus on recovery in 2021, a year that could potentially feature a packed sporting events program, including the UEFA European Championship.

William Hill has faced many headwinds in its domestic market in recent years, including heavy regulatory challenges and increased competition. The company had to close more than 700 betting shops last fall in response to the UK governmentโ€™s clampdown on the controversial fixed-odds betting machines.

The absence of sports and the closure of its network of betting shops in the face of the coronavirus further hit the company this spring and the merger of its two UK divisions will probably not be the last change to be implemented as it looks to improve its performance and mitigate the impact of the pandemic on its finances.

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