William Hill seals 25-year Eldorado Resorts partnership

William Hill seals 25-year Eldorado Resorts partnership

Wednesday, September 5, 2018 Posted by News Team
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Eldorado receives 20% stake in William Hill US business through the deal

William Hill has agreed a deal to become the exclusive provider or digital and land-based sports betting and iGaming for Eldorado Resorts, a Nevada-based casino operator active in eleven states. 

An initial 25-year term has been set for the partnership, which gives William Hill’s US subsidiary the chance to significantly ramp up its presence across the 11 states in which Eldorado operates.

Eldorado owns 21 properties across these 11 states, serving a customer base on 23m people. This will increase to 26 properties in 13 states once it completes its acquisition of the operating assets of Tropicana Entertainment, with that deal expected to close in Q4 2018. It was established in 2014 through the merger of racetrack and racino operator MTR Gaming Group and Eldorado Holdco, and has since grown through M&A, most notably acquiring Isle of Capri Casinos for $1.7bn in 2017.

Through the partnership, William Hill US has a point of entry to 13 states where sports betting has either been legalised following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) or where legislation has been filed.

As part of the agreement William Hill will issue 13,376,135 new ordinary shares, valued at 10 pence each, to Eldorado, valued at $50m, which gives the casino operator a 1.6 per cent stake in the company. It will also give its partner a 20 per cent stake in the William Hill US business. 

William Hill US has worked with Eldorado since 2012, through a partnership restricted to the Nevada market.

“Partnering with Eldorado gives William Hill access to one of the largest and most attractive casino footprints with 23 million customers across multiple states,” William Hill chief executive Philip Bowcock said. 

“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.”

Eldorado chairman and chief executive 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.”

The partners now expect to open William Hill sportsbooks in five properties across three states within weeks. The betting service will debut at the Tropicana Casinos in New Jersey and Mississippi, as well as in two additional Mississippi properties, Lady Luck Casino and Isle of Capri and in the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack in West Virginia.

Retail and online wagering and iGaming will also launch in additional states subject to the appropriate legislation passing. There will also be a focus on growing the William Hill US business further, with discussions with other potential partners already underway.

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