William Hill Forms Lucrative Partnership with Eldorado Resorts
Eldorado Resorts and William Hill are planning a partnership that will bring legal sports betting to a possible 21 casinos all across the United States. This is just the latest of several casino-operator partnerships being formed since the 26-year old PASPA sports betting ban was overturned in May by the Supreme Court. Yet, this might just be the most lucrative partnerships of them all.
The agreement will give Eldorado a 20 percent equity stake in the British bookmaker’s operation. William Hill US is also giving over $64 million in restricted stock to Eldorado with a lock-up period of three to five years. Capital expenditure will be divided equally between the two companies.
Under the terms of the deal, William Hill will be Eldorado’s exclusive partner in online gaming in addition to digital and land-based sports betting. Eldorado has approximately 23 million customers across 11 states.
At the end of Wednesday’s stock market trading, William Hill shares rose 4.8 percent.
William Hill’s chief executive Philip Bowcock said of the deal:
“This partnership provides extensive cross sell and profit growth opportunities to both parties. Together, we are positioned to capture the evolving US opportunity – starting with land-based sports betting and extending to digital sports betting and, in some states, online gaming.”
CEO and chairman of Eldorado, Gary Carano, added:
“Having worked with the company since 2012, we believe William Hill represents the gold standard in global sports betting and we are confident that our expanded partnership will be successful. We look forward to bringing the excitement of sports betting to customers across our growing platform of leading casino resorts, creating value for all shareholders.”
Until now, Eldorado was one of the biggest US casino operators without any deal with a sportsbook. In August, FanDuel Group and Boyd Gaming, and GVC and MGM Resorts announced their partnerships. In another deal, MGM and Boyd came to a market-sharing agreement that allows the companies to operate in states in which they don’t have their own casino. This will push Boyd and MGM to reach a total of 15 states, making them one of the larger operators in the country.
Eldorado is based out of Reno, Nevada, and has properties all across the United States with three casinos in Nevada and more in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Mississippi. All of these states will have, or already have, operational sportsbooks by the end of this year.
Eldorado also has casinos in Florida, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Louisiana, and Iowa.
DraftKings has also met for talks with Eldorado and apparently offered an equity stake. In the last few weeks, DraftKings raised almost half of their planned $200 million funding round to go towards a $1.5 billion valuation.
At first it didn’t seem likely that Eldorado would be a national partner for William Hill US, since the repeal of PASPA, the British-based sportsbook made deals with different Penn National properties across the country. William Hill shortly became the only bookmaker to have a presence in the five states where sports gambling is legal: Mississippi, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Nevada.
According to Legal Sports Report, Scientific Games and Penn National are also in talks.
In August, DraftKings opened its sportsbook in New Jersey under the Resorts AC license. It has a mobile app as well, which had three weeks’ head start over other sportsbooks in New Jersey. Everyone is waiting to see the results of that advantage.
So far, Caesars Entertainment remains the biggest name out of the remaining operators without a partnership being announced.
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