Eldorado Resorts finalises William Hill partnership

30 January 2019

US casino operator Eldorado Resorts has completed its deal to secure a $50m (£38.1m/€43.7m) equity stake in William Hill, and 20% stake in its William Hill US subsidiary, as part of the companies’ 25-year US-focused sports betting partnership.

The deal, which was first struck in September 2018, sees William Hill serve as the exclusive sports betting technology partner for all Eldorado Resorts’ land-based properties. The partners are to invest equally in the development of in-venue sportsbooks, as well as developing the infrastructure to support in-casino, online and mobile wagering.

William Hill will also be granted the right to operate online sports betting under the first skin to launch via Eldorado’s licence - in markets that require online operators to have a land-based partner - as well as the third skin where applicable.

Where regulation permits, it will also have the option to offer online casino and poker under any second skin launched via Eldorado’s licence. The September agreement continues a relationship that was first struck in 2012, and originally saw William Hill US power the casino operators Nevada sportsbooks.

In return, Eldorado has been granted a 20% equity stake in the William Hill US business, as well as 13.4m ordinary shares in the operator’s London-listed parent company. Should William Hill US complete an initial public offering, Eldorado will have the right to sell its stake, or convert the stake to William Hill shares or cash after five years.

“Extending our long-term relationship with William Hill partners Eldorado with the world’s leading provider of in-casino, mobile and online sports wagering to launch sports wagering across our current platform of 26 properties at such time as legislation is enacted and regulatory approvals are obtained,” Eldorado chief executive Tom Reeg said.

“Based on our long-term experience in Reno, we believe that the addition of sports wagering to our entertainment offerings will drive customer visitation and create a new revenue stream at our properties while enhancing our existing gaming and non-gaming revenue.

This agreement is complemented by a separate partnership with The Stars Group. This 20-year agreement gives the PokerStars operator the option to launch the second skin for online sports betting and third skins for online casino and poker.

In return, Eldorado has received an up-front equity interest in The Stars Group, and will also be granted a percentage of revenue generated through the operator’s igaming operations under its skins.

Eldorado, which merged with MTR Gaming Group in September 2013, operates 27 properties across 13 US states, including regulated markets such as Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Image: Eldorado Resorts