Update: New Info about Will Hill’s Israeli Situation

October 21st, 2011
Back Update: New Info about Will Hill’s Israeli Situation

The Telegraph reports interesting findings

This week, an article has been published by the famous British newspaper The Telegraph about the situation faced by famous gambling operator William Hill Online, when its Israeli headquarters staff stopped working.

In the report, the Telegraph reveals that the UK gambling group has hired former Israeli intelligence officers to help regain control of its Israeli operations. Apparently, William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping also flew to Tel Aviv to help WHO boss Henry Birch deal with the situation and to meet with his Playtech counterpart, Mor Weizer, who must be concerned about the new events as his company owns a share in WHO.

However, the Israeli walkouts are not the only ones that should concern Will Hill heads – reportedly, after their Israeli colleagues, around 100 employees in the WHO Bulgarian centre took the same step, as did 300 Playtech workers involved with WHO activities in Manila.

According to the Telegraph, all this may have a strong connection to the sudden resignation of Eyal Sanoff, the chief marketing officer, who allegedly resigned after William Hill told him to provide day-to-day access to the computer systems of the Tel Aviv operation, which he refused to do for a few months, until the company gave him a September 30 deadline. On Sept. 27, he decided to quit, making room for speculation that all was not as it should be in Tel Aviv.

"Last Sunday matters came to a head when Henry Birch, WHO’s chief executive, and Jim Mullen, its chief operating officer, visited Tel Aviv only to find staff had been redirected to a local beach," the Telegraph reports, adding: "Employees were allegedly told that William Hill planned to close the Tel Aviv operation, with Mr Sanoff offering to re-employ them in a new business. William Hill maintains it has “no intention” of closing the Tel Aviv operation.

"When Mr Mullen visited the Tel Aviv office, he was locked out. Its email and telephone systems were also taken down."

In conclusion, the Telegraph opines that William Hill has a call option to buy out Playtech’s stake in WHO in October 2013, and that his may be a warning shot from Teddy Sagi – Playtech’s founder and 40 percent major shareholder, pointing that it must pay top dollar or risk further chaos. However, so far Sagi denied any involvement in the situation, saying it was a “WHO issue”.

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