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Taking over other online casinos can be a dicey business


The much publicised deal between Playtech and William Hill plc earlier this year saw a few "purchased assets" change hands as the giant British gambling group formed William Hill Online. It now turns out that some of the "purchased assets" may have been brands with a questionable past.

Fortunately, William Hill is tackling the problem in a positive manner, according to reports on the Internet gambling information site CM

It all started with one of the cautionary warnings that CM sounds when casino conduct prejudicial to player welfare has been detected and insufficient response is received from the operation in question.

The warning referred to a series of WHG Trading and WHG International online casino and poker brands that had been the subject of past "rogue" warnings

Subsequent to the warning, CM was informed that the brands had been recently acquired, and that the WHG group is currently in the process of cleaning things up. The warning was therefore suspended until clear evidence that past wrongs had been righted was seen.

CM was assured by a member of WHG senior management that all the acquired brands would be studied and the appropriate improvements made.

"We will be rolling out the systems we currently have on William Hill Club Casino throughout the purchased assets," the company spokesman told CM's player complaints manager Max Drayman.

Drayman commented this week: "From the context of our discussion this means that as the new owners of these properties WHG are implementing procedures that will ensure that previous problems with these casinos won't be repeated. In other words WHG is cleaning house and wants the table cleared of old issues while they do so.

"On the basis of the personal assurances given to me and the senior level from which this comes I am marking this Warning "Withdrawn". I have expressed my sincere hope that the "purchased assets" are turning the page on the past activity that has resulted in Warnings and Rogue listings."

Whether William Hill's undertaking will produce the right sort of redress and improvements remains to be seen, but the group is a major corporate and certainly has the expertise and the financial wherewithal to carry out a significant improvement that should be good for the players, and good for William Hill Online in the long run.

And once again the value of establishing a professional dialogue with real player advocates to resolve issues has been demonstrated.

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