Anthony Joshua Joins William Hill as Operator Looks to KO Recent Losses

William Hill is making big moves at home and aboard after reporting an £820 million loss for the first six months of 2018.

 Anthony Joshua William Hill.

Anthony Joshua joins William Hill as the company looks to grow its influence in the US. (Image: William Hill)

The latest financial report showed a £915 million accounting charge due to the government’s decision to reduce the maximum stake for fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) to £2. Discounting the FOBT write-off, William Hill recorded a £96 million profit for the period.

Excluding the accounting charge, profit was still down 13 percent on last year. However, despite the need for major changes in the UK, the betting brand is optimistic about the future.

Despite looking across the Atlantic for hope, William Hill is upping its fight for survival in the UK by  signing heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua.

Joshua to Add Some Muscle to the Brand

The sporting icon has been drafted in as the company’s global brand ambassador. The operator has been working with Joshua indirectly over the last two years thanks to its relationship with promoter Matchroom Sport.

However, according to the August 3 announcement, the new deal will be with the hard-hitting Londoner directly. As per the agreement, William Hill branding will be visible in the lead-up to Joshua’s September 22 title fight against Russia’s Alexander Povetkin.

Additionally, Joshua will attend various media events and use his online profile to promote William Hill and the sport of boxing to the masses.

Away from its deal with Joshua, William Hill has announced more partnerships in the US. In what’s becoming a case of one door closing and another one opening, intrastate sports betting regulation is creating new opportunities for British firms.

PASPA Ruling Opens the Floodgates

Indeed, with the Supreme Court ruling the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) unconstitutional in May, states across the US are preparing to enter the market. With a base already established in Nevada, William Hill is going to work with 11 casinos in Mississippi.

According to the August 3 press release, the operator will provide risk management and proprietary technology to Hard Rock Casino, Palace Casino, and Treasure Bay Casino in Biloxi. Additionally, the agreement will extend to the Island View Casino Resort in Gulfport, WaterView Casino in Vicksburg and six unnamed venues.

By cementing its position in Mississippi, William Hill will be hoping to keep pace with GVC and MGM Resorts. The two companies announced a $200 million/£152 million partnership on July 30 and will now launch a series of live and online betting portals in Nevada and beyond.

For William Hill, its American assault will be as much of a mission to compete with its rivals as a way to offset its UK slump. Although it’s in an embryonic stage, analysts at Barclays believe the US sports betting market could be worth £17 billion per annum, money William Hill will want a piece of.

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