William Hill, the largest bookmaker in the United States, continues to expand its portfolio by reaching new partnerships. Its latest comes by way of Golden Entertainment, and the casino company’s decision to further hand over sports betting operations for its properties in Nevada, Maryland, and Montana.
William Hill already functions as the bookmaker for Golden Entertainment’s approximately 80 tavern gaming locations found throughout Nevada, as well as the company’s Pahrump Nugget Hotel. This week’s announcement confirms that William Hill will assume the sports betting business at Las Vegas’ Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder.
The updated operating agreement will go into place in December pending regulatory approval.
King of the Hill
The Supreme Court of the United States struck down the 1992 federal sports betting ban in May that prohibited full-fledged sports gambling in all but Nevada. But long before the court’s historic decision, William Hill was searching for potential partnerships in anticipation of a repeal.
Months after New Jersey voters backed a ballot referendum in 2012 to allow Atlantic City casinos and state horse racetracks to run sportsbooks, William Hill and Monmouth Park reached a long-term deal. The two constructed a multimillion-dollar sportsbook, only to be blocked by the legal system after the NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL sued to block the state from allowing sports betting.
Now more than half of a decade later, and states free to determine their own laws on sports gambling, and William Hill is crisscrossing the nation striking deals with casinos.
Late last month, William Hill announced a partnership with IGT to target state lotteries. The deal is part of William Hill and IGT’s arrangement to operate sports betting for the Rhode Island Lottery.
William Hill also recently unveiled a 25-year deal to operate sportsbooks for Eldorado Resorts, which owns 21 casinos.
More Expansion Coming
Along with New Jersey and Nevada, William Hill is operating in Mississippi, West Virginia, and Delaware, the three other states that have legalized sports betting following the Supreme Court decision. And as more states come onboard, William Hill is positioned to only further its dominance on the liberalized gaming market.
The deal with Eldorado covers 11 states including, in addition to Nevada, West Virginia, and Mississippi, casinos in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois. All five of those latter states have passed sports betting regulations or are considering such legislation.
William Hill’s expansion with Golden Entertainment gives it the possibility of doing business in Maryland and Montana. Lawmakers in Maryland are studying the impact on sports betting, and are expected to introduce legislation to regulate sportsbooks next year.
The odds seem long that Montana will legalize sports betting, despite the state being afforded immunity under the repealed Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. But Golden Entertainment manages “distributed gaming,” aka tavern gaming terminals, in some 300 locations.