Our Covid-19 ‘Lockdown Heroes’

 Our colleagues are often involved in their local communities, and when the pandemic hit we were overwhelmed with stories of how our people had gone ‘above and beyond’ for others in their community. We celebrated our colleagues’ efforts through our ‘Lockdown Heroes’ awards.

All of our community programmes are powered by the enthusiasm and support of colleagues. Everyone at William Hill understands that community involvement is one of the best reflections of our values as a business.

Nick Pearson, Cloud Engineer

Lockdown heroes logo

One winner was Nick Pearson, Cloud Engineer, who set up a PPE equipment production line in his home in Yorkshire, with the use of his own 3D printers. He scaled production during the first lockdown with a total of 22 3D printers making 3,000 protective visors a week, which he was supplying free to the NHS. The William Hill Foundation made a donation for eight printers, 150 kilos of PLA plastic and 10,000 sheets of PVC to help make the visors. Nick was recognised as a Lockdown Hero for demonstrating the William Hill values of ‘Own it’ and ‘Give a damn’.


Economic contribution




paid in duties and taxes in 2020


total tax contribution in 2020


paid to UK Government for Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

William Hill paid a total of £292m in taxes and duties in 2020. In addition the Group collects taxes on behalf of governments making the total tax contribution in 2020 c.£356m. We also repaid the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme monies to the UK Government, amounting to £24.5m in 2020.

The gambling industry as a whole paid around £3bn in tax to the UK Exchequer, for both 2018/19 and 2019/201.The economic contribution of the industry (Gross Value Added) is estimated at £8.7bn in terms of support for the economy2. The industry employs around 100,000 people in the UK3.


Community contribution


The William Hill Foundation was established in 2011 with the aim of administering a hardship fund for colleagues and overseeing our charitable partnerships.

In 2019, the aims of the Foundation were reviewed and expanded to include a particular focus on mental well-being, in response to recognition that this major issue touches many people, with one in four of us experiencing mental health challenges at some point in our lives.

During 2020, the Foundation worked across three areas: supporting mental health and well-being, the needs of colleagues, and employability, in order to ensure that the Foundation is truly providing support to those that need it the most. Some key initiatives are described below.

Scottish Football Association ‘Support Within Sport’ initiative

The William Hill Foundation continued its work with the Scottish Football Association to increase mental health provision and education within Scottish sport.

Through our Support Within Sport partnership, a clinical support service is available to all 42 male Scottish Premiership Football League clubs, as well as the 16 Scottish Women’s Premier League teams, coaches and referees. Current services provided include an initial assessment by an experienced sports medicine doctor and counselling for individuals who are presenting with mental-health-related issues.

Since the programme’s launch in 2016, over 200 players and coaches have made contact and received help through the service. The initiative has allowed for creation of a bespoke e-learning course in mental health launched in May 2020 and completed by more than 3,500 coaches. This online course aims to give coaches the tools to spot and recognise signs of mental health problems, develop skills in listening and sign-post people to help if required.

SFA Mental Health League with William Hill colleagues

Switch the Play

Last year, we helped Switch the Play Foundation, the UK’s only charity dedicated to supporting all sportspeople to successfully transition into life outside of sport. We made a donation towards their new Mental Health Support service for sportspeople; a crucial service which aligns to their mission to empower sportspeople to be their best through and beyond sport, by providing person-centred training, well-being and transition support.

Haringey Box Cup

We are the main official supporter of the Haringey Box Cup, the largest international boxing competition, and a tournament Anthony Joshua competed in his amateur career. In our fifth year of sponsoring the event, we helped provide an opportunity to 250 young boxers from around the world to compete in the three-day annual event at Alexandra Palace.

Alzheimer’s Society

The William Hill Foundation’s three-year partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society continued in 2020, focused on increased awareness and understanding of dementia.

Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, William Hill colleagues supported the Alzheimer’s Society through a number of virtual fundraising activities. These included ‘Step-Up For Dementia’, a fitness challenge, as well as dress-up days themed around World Alzheimer’s Day and Halloween. The Foundation also sponsored and participated in the Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘Great Big Quiz’ fundraiser in June 2020, which raised over £22,000 for their Emergency Appeal. 2020 also saw the launch of a Dementia Friends e-learning module available to all William Hill colleagues, providing guidance and information to help support people living with dementia.

Step Up tp Dementia

Raising Futures

As part of the legacy from our five-year Project Africa commitment, the William Hill Foundation supports Raising Futures, a Kenyan charity developing skills and opportunities for young people, to help them become financially independent.

This year’s grant has helped provide the charity’s Seed of Hope vocational training centres with essential sanitation and health and safety training, to ensure the centres are safe to open this year and better able to manage the impact of Covid-19.

William Hill USA Charitable Foundation

The William Hill USA Charitable Foundation (USA Foundation) was established to provide financial assistance to William Hill US employees who find themselves adversely impacted by major events defined as a ‘qualified disaster’, resulting in hardship for the employee. The Covid-19 pandemic was deemed to be such an event.

Grants are made based on the urgency of the need and available funding, and after other funding resources or options have been exhausted. Due to the generosity of William Hill employees around the world and outside friends of William Hill, the Company raised $250,000 to support the USA Foundation. In 2020, the USA Foundation paid out $117,000 to furloughed employees in need.

Community: William Hill International

Our International hub is based in Malta and in 2020 we wanted to find the best way to support the local community. With strict restrictions implemented by the Maltese Government on travelling and the entertainment sector, the Maltese community has been particularly impacted by the huge reduction in tourism. William Hill International has supported Foodbank Lifeline Malta, a local NGO supporting local communities in need.

William Hill International also reallocated the annual budget for social colleague events in support of Foodbank Lifeline Malta. In the UK, we donated the money we would have spent on social events to local food banks in each of our locations, recognising the difficulties many people would be facing throughout a challenging year.


Thank you for taking the decision to give back locally. With respect to this, I feel it an honour to be part of this company.

Lisa Martin, Marketing Promotions Manager, William Hill International


Environmental commitments

William Hill has committed to become a carbon-neutral business, recognising the importance and urgency of addressing climate change.

In comparison with many other sectors, our energy impact is relatively low. In 2019, 95% of our carbon footprint related to the electricity we consumed in our betting shops and offices. As a result, in October 2020 we switched to 100% Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) electricity in the UK, to significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

This switch means we can report zero emissions for electricity under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol Corporate Standards, Scope 2, as the electricity can be matched to REGO certificates, which guarantee that the electricity we provide will only come from solar, wind or hydro sources. We will save almost 61,500 tonnes of CO2 across our three-year contract, which is the equivalent of taking 38,000 cars off the UK’s roads.

This is one initiative of many that is enabling William Hill to become greener and significantly less carbon-intensive. Further initiatives, including a full Retail rollout of smart metering across all our shops, are planned in 2021 that will drive further CO2 reductions going forward.

Renewable - Wond Power


In February 2020, the Board approved an updated Environmental Policy and five-year strategy. This includes the targets outlined in this table.

Focus On/Off Track Five-year target (by 2024) Commentary

Waste to landfill

On track

To achieve 30% improvement

56% from 2019

Improvement of 56% from 2019 is above target (but needs to be considered in the context of shop closures in 2020). Target should remain at 30% as tonnage expected to normalise in 2021.

Landfill diversion

On track

To achieve 95% landfill diversion

Tracking at 83%

Current landfill diversion is tracking at 83%, and we are on track to meet five-year target of 95%.

Fleet target to be electric/plug-in hybrid/ electric vehicle

On track

30% of fleet to be electric/plug-in hybrid

Currently 13% metric of PHEV in 2020, on track for five-year target.


On track

Water consumption to be baselined to assess water-saving initiatives

Water consumption baselined at 270,000m3 on 1,414-shop estate. New water supplier and utility consultancy appointed.


On track

To be a carbon-neutral business
Following the reduction of our CO2 emissions through LED lighting in 2018 and a 30% drop in shop estate in 2019, we will re-baseline and assess targets for further consumption reduction in 2021 onwards. Implementation and rollout of smart metering is required to enable this.

Switching to renewable energy in UK from October 2020 will have a significant impact in 2021.


Smart metering rollout commenced in November 2020, with full rollout to be completed in 2021. Thereafter a full monitoring and targeting programme to be adopted to minimise our CO2 emissions.

Video conferencing

On track

Video conferencing technology adoption – increase of 400%
(from 2018)

Adoption in 2020 achieved 442%, hitting the five-year target early. The impact of Covid-19 has led this shift in behaviour.



Key performance measures








Our economic contribution

Taxes and gambling duties




In addition, the Group collects taxes on behalf of governments, making the total tax contribution in 2020 c.£356m.

Supporting sport

Levies, sponsorship and picture payments




Decrease due to shop closures and sports cancelled in 2020.

Reducing our environmental impact

Annual global energy use in kW/h




In 2020, 87% of our carbon emissions related to energy consumption in the UK. The methodology used to collate and calculate these figures is the UK Government’s Environmental Reporting Guidelines, and all SECR obligations have been complied with.

Tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e)




tCO2e per £1m of net revenue




Supporting colleagues

William Hill Foundation grants




15 grants awarded by the hardship fund in 2020.


1 Source: UK Betting and Gaming Statistics.
2 Source: DCMS Economic Estimates 2018 (provisional).
3 Source: Gambling Commission Industry Statistics to September 2019.