Featured in this article:
  • Ulrik Bengtsson steps down from William Hill
  • Caesars selling William Hill's European operations to 888 for $2.5bn
  • 888 to complete Hills takeover on July 1

3 Minute Read

Ulrik Bengtsson will step down as William Hill CEO

William Hill CEO Ulrik Bengtsson has confirmed he will step away from the company once its takeover by rival casino 888 is completed on July 1.

Bengtsson joins William Hill as chief digital officer in 2018 and helped spearhead the gambling company’s advancement into the American market when sports betting was legalized.

He oversaw the sale of William Hill’s US operations to Caesars in a $bn deal back in April 2021. Caesars chose to cut its the European arm of Hills and sell those operations to the highest bidder.

And 888 Holdings (888:LDN) – the Gibraltar-based online casino and sportsbook – is due to finalize its $2.5bn buy-out of William Hill at the start of next month.

It means Bengtsson will hand over operational duties of the William Hill brand to 888’s CEO Itai Pazner.

“With the on-sale to 888 Holdings due to be completed later next week, the time is right for me to say goodbye to William Hill and hand over to Itai Pazner,” Bengtsson said. 

“I look back over the last four years with pride at what we’ve achieved, which has brought us to this point where 888 Holdings see the massive benefit of acquiring William Hill and the opportunities it will open up for both businesses.”

He added: “888 Holdings have acquired a brilliant business with two premium brands in William Hill and Mr Green, and I look forward to seeing how the combined business grows over the coming years.”

William Hill

William Hill is a popular bookmaker in the United Kingdom and has a big online sports betting presence

What Next For Bengtsson?

Bengtsson might be stepping down from William Hill but he is not short of work. He is an influential figure in Europe’s iGaming community, having worked for five years at Malta-based Betsson Group before shifting to Hills four years ago.

The Swede will also carry on his role as non-executive chairman of affiliate Raketech in Stockholm. He is chair of the Raketech remuneration committee.

As for William Hill, it is now due to fall under 888’s ownership after the Gilbraltar company agreed to enter debt of $2.16bn in order to fuel the buy-out.

888 is also braced for a difficult few months ahead, with the UK government due to publish updated gambling legislation next month, which could shake up the industry.

“Ulrik can rightly be very proud of building such a strong team,” 888 CEO Pazner said. “We look forward to combining the businesses. I am excited about the opportunities for the enlarged business, supported by top-quality management talent from both businesses.”

Hills has helped Caesars become active in more than half of the States in the US, offering its online sports betting platform and app to millions of players across the country. Caesars’ (CZR:Nasdaq) share price jumped more than 6 points to 44.47 by the close of markets Friday.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

Back To Top
Back To Top