William Hill in Hot Water Over Sexist Promotion

Tia Winter | 23 February 2018

Casino Giant, William Hill has found themselves at the heart of a sexism scandal following their latest mail promotion. In an email sent out to customers on their mailing list, William Hill Australia was offering a promotion which featured a special $150 bonus refer-a-friend bonus, but only for male customers. According to the rules of the promotion, all existing William Hill members would be eligible for a free $150 casino bonus if they managed to convince a friend to register an account with the online bookmaker.

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The deal would work both ways, as the new customer would also be granted a sign-up bonus of $200. The only problem is that William Hill specified that only male clients could qualify for the refer-a-friend promotion. According to reports in the press, the promotion was slated by a number of organisations and most importantly by Responsible Wagering Australia, the organisation that represents the industry as a whole. The RWA was quoted as saying the male-only promotion was “beyond unacceptable.”

William Hill is also the only gambling company in Australia that has not yet signed the Responsible Wagering Australia code of conduct. The company is currently under the control of Chief Executive Officer Thomas Waterhouse. A fourth-generation bookmaker himself, Waterhouse sold his own business to the William Hill back in 2013.

Male Only Referral Promotion

The refer-a-friend bonus sent out by William Hill was described as an exclusive referral promotion which promised a sign-up bonus of $200. In order to claim their bonus, new members would have to sign up for a new account and deposit a minimum of $50 in their account. Only then would the referrer and the referee receive their bonus. William Hill described the money as a great way bonus for the Melbourne Cup weekend. However, according to the email, the new customer had to be male.

The sexist requirements were not included in the actual terms of the conditions of the promotion. According to William Hill, its inclusion in the original email was a decision made by a certain employee. It is possible that the decision to include the “sexist” rule came about as a result to try and combat a new trend hitting online bookmakers all over the country. The trend sees existing players referring female members of their own family in order to cash in on free bets and referral bonuses. The male-only bonus requirement could have been William Hill’s attempt to prevent such practises from taking place.

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