Crown Resorts, Hills begin talks over CrownBet stake

24 November 2017

William Hill has opened talks with Australia’s Crown Resorts over the acquisition of its stake in online gaming business Crownbet.

Bloomberg today (Friday) said that William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock met with Crownbet in Australia, although a source close to the talks said the two parties are not keen on a merger.

Crown Resorts owns a 62% stake in Crownbet, which forms part of its wider betting and online social gambling operation that also includes DGN Games, Betfair Australia, Draftstars and Chill Gaming.

In a statement confirming the talks, Crown Resorts said: “Crown Resorts notes media speculation today in relation to consolidation in the online wagering industry, including in relation to CrownBet, which is 62% owned by Crown,” the company said.

“Crown evaluates opportunities regarding its investments from time to time.

“Crown confirms that it is in discussions concerning its interest in CrownBet; there is no certainty as to whether any transaction will eventuate.”

William Hill also issued a statement to confirm the discussions: “Following media speculation, William Hill confirms that it is in very preliminary discussions with CrownBet, the 62% owned online wagering business of Crown Resorts, regarding a possible combination of William Hill Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of William Hill, and CrownBet.

“There is no certainty that these preliminary discussions will lead to any transaction.”

Related article: Crown cites ‘difficult trading conditions’ as key figures fall