Golden Opportunity for William Hill Following US Sports Betting Deal

William Hill has forged a new deal with Golden Entertainment as part of its bid to become the leading sports betting brand in the US.

Philip Bowcock

William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock is looking forward to new opportunities in the US following Golden Entertainment deal. (Image: The Times)

Just a month after agreeing to provide sports betting services to Eldorado Resort’s 21 US casinos, the UK-based operator has extended its existing agreement with Golden Entertainment.

Nevada and Beyond for William Hill

Under the terms of the new deal, William Hill will manage Golden Entertainment’s sportsbooks in three states. The new venture will start in Nevada where sports betting is already legal and see the British operator set-up shop inside four properties, including the Stratosphere Casino in Las Vegas.

From there, it will take control of Golden Entertainment’s projects in Montana and Maryland once they pass their own sports betting legislation.

In isolation, the latest deal won’t dramatically alter the fortunes of William Hill. However, chief executive Philip Bowcock was upbeat and explained that it’s part of a longer-term plan to dominate the US market.

By adopting a “flexible” approach to the US market, Bowcock explained that William Hill is now active in all states where sports betting is currently legal and that more partnerships will follow.

Commenting on the significance of the October 3 announcement, analysts at Goodbody told the Racing Post that it was another important moment in the evolution of the US betting market.

“While not a huge deal for William Hill, this is another incremental positive for its US business and an endorsement for its US operation,” said the analysts.

A Golden Opportunity for William Hill et al

In addition to deals with Golden Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts, the company recently agreed terms with IGT. Currently one of the leading lottery gaming companies in the US, IGT will now work with William Hill to offer online sports betting in states where regulation has passed.

At this stage, William Hill is leading the charge for UK gaming companies in the States. However, with analysts at Barclays predicting the US market will be worth $22 billion/£17 billion per annum, other operators won’t be far behind.

Indeed, Ladbrokes Coral is already making moves thanks to a $200 million/£152 million deal with MGM, while Paddy Power Betfair has bought FanDuel in an effort to increase its presence in the US. With more opportunities opening up in the US, issues closer to home such as the impending changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are starting to seem less significant.

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