Eldorado Resorts and William Hill US Partner on Sports Betting
William Hill US just got a bigger stake in the emerging U.S. sports betting market by partnering with Eldorado Resorts, which operates 21 casinos in 11 states and is also acquiring seven more casinos from Tropicana Entertainment.
William Hill will oversee sports betting for Eldorado properties. In exchange, the casino company gets a 20 percent stake in William Hill US, the US subsidiary of the UK bookmaker. The deal was disclosed in a report by the UK’s Sky News.
Eldorado will also be granted restricted stock worth about $50 million in William Hill Plc, the parent company of William Hill US, which would vest over a period of up to five years, according to the Sky News reports.
William Hill already has launched sports betting operations in four states since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting in May—New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia. The company also runs about 100 retail sites in Nevada.
Eldorado is currently seeking to acquire the casino operations of seven casinos in six states from Tropicana Entertainment to add to its current 21 casinos in 11 states.
The two companies will co-develop sports books and as well as the technology needed for mobile and online wagering. The companies said they will focus first on developing products in New Jersey, Iowa, Mississippi and West Virginia. Eldorado said it expects its casinos in West Virginia and Mississippi to be ready for sports betting this NFL season, according to a press release.
The two companies had worked together before the deal with William Hill operating the sportsbooks at Eldorado’s Reno resorts since 2012.
“Based on our long-term experience with sports betting we are confident that sports betting will bring new customers and a new revenue stream to our regional properties while serving as a significant revenue driver for our existing gaming and non-gaming businesses,” Eldorado CEO Gary Carano said in a press release.
According to the companies, Eldorado’s 20 percent equity stake in William Hill US will include all of the bookmaker’s businesses in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, West Virginia, along with the Bahamas and St. Kitts, as well as future Eldorado and non‐Eldorado U.S. business.
William Hill PLC CEO Philip Bowcock said in the release that the company wanted to partner with a casino operator with a “large and growing footprint” across the U.S.
The transaction will require regulatory approval in several states as well as federal anti-trust approval.