The competition for the nascent legal sports betting market in the US has seen another major development with one big player taking over another’s operations.
Pending regulatory approvals, William Hill US will soon be operating Caesars’ sportsbooks and mobile apps across the country.
This is very much in line with what we predicted to be one of the major trends in the industry in 2020:
”The legal sports gambling business is still finding its footing in the US, and competition is ramping up. All of the big players will be trying to capture as much of the currently available sports betting market as they can.”
Here’s what you need to know about this major deal.
Eldorado Resorts acquires Caesars Entertainment
Nevada based Eldorado Resorts have bid $17.3 billion to acquire Caesars Entertainment. William Hill US is operating all of Elrorado’s sportsbooks around the country due to an exclusive sportsbook partnership with the company and will thus begin operating all books and apps run by Caesars Entertainment once the deal gets officially done.
The deal is subject to approvals by the Nevada, New Jersey and Indiana gaming commissions. William Hill will take over all of the retail and mobile sportsbooks from Caesars in these states.
Why does it matter?
William Hill already has a significant presence in Las Vegas with more than 100 brick-and-mortar locations, and they are a major player in New Jersey as well. Their mobile app is live in both states.
But in Vegas, William Hill’s retail presence is very limited on the Las Vegas Strip. This will change after the deal goes through, with Caesars currently operating multiple famous properties right at the heart of the Strip.
Acquiring a bigger presence and buying off competition is rarely bad for business, especially when you do it in what are by far two of the biggest sports betting markets in the country:
”In March 2020, almost $22 billion had been wagered since the PASPA was overturned in 2018, according to Legal Sports Report. Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania accounted for almost $19 billion of that number.
Nevada is still the leader of the pack with a total handle of approximately $9.5 billion since the PASPA was overturned. But New Jersey is catching up fast at approximately $7 billion wagered.”
As for Indiana, there is also a fully live mobile betting market in the state, to which William Hill does not have exposure yet. They currently only operate one retail sportsbook spot in Tropicana Evansville. Caesars’ app is already live in Indiana.
The state could be a promising market, with a total handle of $900k since the overturning of PASPA. With DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, BetAmerica, BetMGM and PointsBet already being present in the online market, it’s about high time for William Hill to enter the market as well to capture a slice of the action.
Is this merger good or bad news for sports traders?
In the long term, it would of course be beneficial to have as many options as possible to keep the market and the odds competitive. The merger of two players in a diverse market will probably not make a huge difference, but we are hoping that there will be plenty of bookmakers to choose from in the future as well.
Background on the companies
”William Hill PLC is one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies, employing over 12,500 people. Its origins are in the UK where it was founded in 1934, and where the company is listed on the London Stock Exchange. With headquarters in London and Leeds it has a national presence of licensed betting offices in Great Britain and Northern Ireland and is one of the country’s leading online betting and gaming services. In 2012, it established William Hill US with a focus on retail and mobile operations in Nevada, which is now the largest sports betting business in the USA. William Hill US (www.williamhill.us) currently operates 113 race and sports books in Nevada and the state’s leading mobile sports betting app. In New Jersey, William Hill is operating at Monmouth Park Racetrack, Ocean Resort Casino, Tropicana Atlantic City, and online with the William Hill New Jersey sports betting app. William Hill also is operating sportsbooks in Indiana, West Virginia, and Iowa; a race book in Florida; and online with the William Hill Iowa sports betting app. William Hill is a licensed sports betting provider in numerous casinos in Mississippi and New Mexico, and serves as the exclusive risk manager for the Delaware and Rhode Island sports lotteries. In October 2019, William Hill signed an agreement with Monumental Sports & Entertainment to build and operate a sports book at Capital One Arena in Washington D.C., subject to regulatory approval.”
”Caesars Entertainment is one of the world’s most diversified casino-entertainment providers and the most geographically diverse U.S. casino-entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, in 1937, Caesars Entertainment has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions. Caesars Entertainment’s resorts operate primarily under the Caesars®, Harrah’s® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars Entertainment’s portfolio also includes the Caesars Entertainment UK family of casinos.”
”Eldorado Resorts is a leading casino entertainment company that owns and operates twenty-three properties in eleven states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, and Ohio. In aggregate, Eldorado’s properties feature approximately 22,400 slot machines, VLTs and e-tables and approximately 640 table games, and over 11,200 hotel rooms.
Founded in 1973 in Reno, Eldorado has been dedicated to providing exceptional guest service, a dynamic gaming product, award-winning dining, exciting entertainment and premiere accommodations.”
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