William Hill to grow Nevada sports betting market presence

11 January 2019

William Hill is set to expand its presence in the Nevada sports betting market after receiving initial approvals to launch an additional seven sportsbooks in the state.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has recommended licensing approval for four properties across Las Vegas and Laughlin, as well as sites in North Las Vegas, Reno and in the Stateline region, next to Nevada's border with California.

In Las Vegas, the recommendations are for sites that will operate within Golden Entertainment properties. These include racebooks and sports pools at the Stratosphere Casino, Arizona Charlie’s Boulder and Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, as well as the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin.

The operator has also applied to open a new race book and sports pool at the Eldorado Hotel and Casino in Reno and Montbleu in Stateline, both in partnership with Eldorado Resorts. In addition, the bookmaker hopes to open similar facilities at Jerry’s Nugget Casino in North Las Vegas.

The Eldorado licensing also references amending orders of registration related to the casino giant’s pending acquisition of a 20% stake in the William Hill US business. The Gaming Control Board has also recommended this deal be approved.

All of these recommendations are subject to final approval at a Nevada Gaming Commission meeting on January 24.

William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said the company intends to make a considerable investment in both the entertainment and displays at the potential sports betting facilities. This will include installing self-service kiosks at some of the locations.

“We’ll typically go in and upgrade the facilities, put in our equipment and the display systems that we use,” Asher told the Las Vegas Review Journal.

William Hill currently operates sportsbooks in 107 of the 190 casinos in Nevada, which the company said equates to a market share of around 30%. In total, the bookmaker has 137 sportsbooks active across the US.

Following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, Hills has been looking to expand this network in states that have legalised sports betting since the ruling.

William Hill was the first company to take a legal sports bet under new laws in New Jersey, while the bookmaker also has sports betting partnerships in place across the regulated states of Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. It has also agreed a market access agreement with Eldorado Resorts to move into additional states when regulations permit, as well as a strategic partnership with International Game Technology, targeting sports betting deals with state lotteries.