Crypto, Boss Announce William Hill Deals

25 February 2003

A new product from Boss Media is opening the door for more days like yesterday, when two major Internet gambling software providers announced licensing agreements with the same operator, William Hill.

Peter Bertilsson, the president and CEO of Boss Media, describes the product as a "Super Back Office." What makes it so super? It can be hitched to the online casino games of any software maker, not just those of Boss. Bertilsson said it will make obsolete the days when operators who use multiple software suppliers would have to contend with and purchase multiple back ends.

"If William Hill has CryptoLogic for casinos, and they want another casino from us, and maybe poker from a third supplier and bingo from a fourth supplier, they need four back offices," he said. "Now they only need one, because we make sure that these other guys connect to the Super Back Office we provide. It means William Hill has only one interface and they don't need to learn four interfaces."

In addition to the new back end, the United Kingdom-based sports book will license Boss Media online casinos denominated in euros and in languages including French, German, Italian, Spanish and Chinese, said Bill Haygarth, the managing director of e-commerce for William Hill.

Joining Boss Media's announcements yesterday was a press release from CryptoLogic, announcing that William Hill is renewing its license for CryptoLogic casinos denominated in pounds sterling and U.S. dollars through 2004. William Hill has been a CryptoLogic customer since 1999. The Toronto-based company also said yesterday that William Hill will be licensing its poker software through 2006.

Nancy Chan-Palmateer, the director of communications for CryptoLogic, said her group is excited about the new poker product, which William Hill signed an exclusive contract for.

"Poker is a very young and untapped market and there are only maybe a dozen notable poker sites on the Internet today," she said. "William Hill is only one of two land-based groups that have started to offer online poker. Already through our technology, they are among the top 10 sites in the world today for poker."

Haygarth, who said he believes William Hill is one of the first major operators to split up its games among more than one software provider, said the decision to go with both CryptoLogic and Boss games was made for a variety of reasons. In particular, the company wanted to give its players more choices.

"While we could launch multiple casinos with CryptoLogic or Boss, essentially they all play the same and have the same look and feel," he said.

Using two software makers also means that William Hill will benefit from both companies' research and development, Haygarth said. As for the new back office from Boss, he said it will give William Hill an open Application Programming Interface, meaning that it could accept games from a variety of suppliers.

"That gives us an additional flexibility because not only will we have Boss and CryptoLogic as suppliers, but potentially we could have any number of software suppliers because of the fact that we've got this open interface in our systems," he said.

Chan-Palmateer said CryptoLogic was aware before yesterday that William Hill would be adding Boss games to its site. Contrary to what Haygarth said, she said it is not unusual for large customers to look at signing agreements with multiple vendors.

Bertilsson said he is very pleased with the situation.

"I'm of course extremely happy about that, to be able to compete on the same terms, and of course, it's a big advantage for us since we have the Super Back Office," he said.

Haygarth said the new games and the new back office will be implemented by this summer.

Anne Lindner can be reached at