Eldorado Resorts and William Hill set sights on US sports betting riches

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William Hill US has entered into a definitive agreement with Eldorado Resorts, pursuant to which it will become exclusive sports betting operator for a 25 year period, across the company’s 21 strong casino portfolio, spread across 11 states.

Eldorado, whose pending acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment will take its nationwide reach to 26 entities in 13 jurisdictions, is to work with its new partner to leverage land-based, online and mobile sports wagering, across regions in which it is legal to do so.

Expecting its West Virginia and Mississippi properties to be ready for the fast approaching NFL season, Eldorado is to obtain a $50m equity stake in William Hill PLC, and 20 per cent of William Hill US, in exchange for the agreement.

“…We sought to be aligned with a strong partner with a large and growing footprint…”

Philip Bowcock, chief executive officer of William Hill PLC, stated: “As we sought to expand our US presence following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn PASPA, we sought to be aligned with a strong partner with a large and growing footprint across the country.

“Given our existing arrangement with Eldorado Resorts in Nevada, we understand their commitment to providing guests with unbeatable service, and market-leading gaming and entertainment amenities, and we see their values as closely aligned with ours.

“We are excited to work with the Eldorado team to bring the best in in-casino, mobile and online sports wagering experience to customers in Nevada and beyond, as the jurisdictions Eldorado serves begin to legalise sports wagering.”

Providing further details of its 20 per cent equity stake, Eldorado states that it encompasses all of William Hill US’ existing businesses in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi and West Virginia, along with The Bahamas and St. Kitts, as well as future Eldorado and non‐Eldorado US business.

Both parties have stressed an equal investment in construction of in-casino sportsbooks, in addition to in the infrastructure needed to support in-casino wagering in addition to that of mobile and online.

An initial expectation has outlined the New Jersey, Iowa, Mississippi and West Virginia markets as holding primary focus.

“We believe William Hill represents the gold standard in global sports wagering”

Gary Carano, chairman and chief executive officer of Eldorado, explained: “We are excited to extend our existing relationship with William Hill through this agreement to offer in-casino, mobile and online sports wagering to our customers nationwide, subject to regulatory and legal approvals in our 11 current jurisdictions, as well as the additional jurisdictions we expect to enter through our pending transaction with Tropicana Entertainment.

“The terms of the agreement announced today acknowledge the strong expected value to be created as Eldorado rolls out sports betting, following enacting legislation or regulatory approvals, across its broad national geographic platform, which, pro forma for announced transactions, includes 26 properties.

“Since 2012, William Hill has provided exceptional service to our customers in Nevada as our exclusive sportsbook operator at Eldorado Resort Casino Reno, Circus Circus Hotel Casino Reno and Silver Legacy Resort Casino Reno.

“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.

“We believe William Hill represents the gold standard in global sports wagering, and expect our expanded partnership, including an attractive equity stake in their US business and in William Hill PLC, to extend the excitement of sports wagering to our growing platform of leading casino resorts while creating value for all shareholders.”