IGT and Hills plot strategic growth with US lotteries deal

26 September 2018

International Game Technology (IGT) and William Hill US have moved to build on their existing relationship in the US by entering a multi-year agreement to offer lotteries a full service solution for sports betting.

Under the deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, the two companies will now mutually consider all future sports betting opportunities and bid requests from US lotteries.

This combined offering will include IGT’s PlayShot sports betting platform for land-based, retail, online, and mobile, in tandem with William Hill’s operational, trading, player management, and strategic expertise in sportsbook.

PlayShot is already operational in four states where sports betting is regulated, while Hills, through its own and partner brands, currently runs sportsbooks in the five states where sports wagering is legal – Nevada, New Jersey, Mississippi, Delaware and West Virginia.

The new partnership will build on the success of a venture between IGT and Hills US that saw the two companies secure the sports betting contract for the Rhode Island Lottery last month.

Renato Ascoli, chief executive of IGT North America, said: “Through this unique partnership, our customers will be able to enter this new activity with total confidence and trust in the service being offered.

“By forming this partnership with William Hill, we are able to bring to our lottery customers in every state a world-class combination of technology and operational expertise.”

Joe Asher, chief executive of William Hill US, added: “William Hill’s track record as an operator globally, and our clear leadership as a sports book operator in the US, in particular, mean that US lotteries can be confident that in choosing IGT and us together, they will be benefiting from a reliable, trustworthy, and responsibly-managed solution - maximising revenues to each state with a quality product and service.”

Both IGT and Hill have been very active in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on PASPA, which allowed New Jersey, Mississippi, Delaware and West Virginia to launch regulated sports betting markets. Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are also expected to introduce legalised markets in the near future.

Earlier this month, Hills struck a major deal with Eldorado that could potentially expand its sports betting reach into a total of 11 states. The deal came after Hills in June became the first company to take legal bets in New Jersey.

Aside from technology-focused deals, Hills last week agreed a first-of-its-kind partnership with NHL ice hockey franchise the Vegas Golden Knights, shortly after Asher revealed the firm had been “inundated” with requests for sports sponsorship deals in the US.

As for IGT, the story is similar in that it has been busy striking deals with a host of operators and casino properties, including both FanDuel and MGM in New Jersey.

This month, IGT also extended its sport betting reach into the tribal market by linking up with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.