William Hill appoints new CEO to focus on digital

William Hill PLC (LON:WMH) has announced a partnership between William Hill US and Eldorado Resorts, Inc.

William Hill is already a leading sports betting company in the US. However, the partnership with Eldorado will provide an extensive access to the market. Eldorado is currently a major casino group with 21 properties across 11 states. Moreover, its customer base reaches 23 million people.

The agreement details several key features. Firstly, William Hill will become Eldorado’s exclusive partner for digital and retail sports betting. Next, William Hill US will retain 80% of the enhanced business. Additionally, Eldorado will receive $50 million of stock in William Hill PLC and a 20% stake in William Hill US. The initial term of the agreement is 25 years.

Within weeks, William Hill sportsbooks will be opened in five properties across three states. Subject to the legalisation in each state, additional sportbooks and digital betting and gaming services will launch in the months ahead.

The supreme court decided to legalise sports betting earlier this year.

Contrary to the UK, the 1992 Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibited sports gambling in the US with few exceptions. However, earlier this year the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for state legalisation of sports betting.

Nevada was one of the law’s only exceptions. Hence, since 2012 William Hill PLC and Eldorado have been partnered there.

Philip Bowcock, William Hill PLC Chief Executive Officer, commented: “Partnering with Eldorado gives William Hill access to one of the largest and most attractive casino footprints with 23 million customers across multiple states.

“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.”

At 11:34 BST shares in William Hill PLC (LON: WMH) were up by 5.88% at 263.1.