William Hill Wins Approval for Purchase of CG Technology Nevada Ops, Including Several Strip Books

Posted on: August 28, 2020, 11:00h. 

Last updated on: August 31, 2020, 12:06h.

Already the largest sportsbook operator in Nevada, William Hill got the green light to bolster its Silver State footprint Thursday. That’s when the Gaming Control Board (NGCB) approved the British company’s purchase of CG Technology’s (CGT) operations in the state.

Palms Las Vegas sportsbook
The sportsbook at the Palms Las Vegas. It’s one of the books William Hill gets in a deal with CGT. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The acquisition, announced last November, and subsequent approval allow William Hill to gain control of sportsbooks at several iconic Las Vegas Strip gaming properties, including the Cosmopolitan, Palazzo, and Venetian. The books at the Palms, the Tropicana, and Silverton, and CGT’s Bahamas operations, are also part of the purchase.

Under the terms of the transaction, William Hill will also provide “a betting platform and risk management consulting to the Atlantis on Paradise Island” in the Bahamas.

CGT’s license to run the sportsbook at the old Hard Rock Casino wasn’t part of the transaction with William Hill because Mohegan Gaming, which will manage gaming operations at the soon-to-be Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, selected Betfred to manage that property’s book.

An agenda for the NGCB’s Aug. 27 meeting confirms the matter was discussed yesterday. At its meeting earlier this month, the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) recommended that the NGCB approve the transaction.

Busy Boosting Share

Whether it’s with its deal-making or consolidation by other gaming companies, William Hill is active in increasing its market share, to the point it’s now the largest sportsbook operator in the US.

The recent combination of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, which created “new Caesars,” gives the sports betting firm access to all Caesars’ books across the country because of a prior arrangement with the acquiring company. Coupled with the CGT purchase, that deal increases William Hill’s presence on the lucrative Las Vegas Strip.

We’ve had the market-leading share here in Nevada for a number of years. But we really haven’t had that big of a presence on the Las Vegas Strip,” said William Hill CEO Joe Asher in an interview with CNBC.

Asher adds the deals set the stage for his company to sign customers up for mobile sports wagering at some of the Strip’s most iconic venues. The Palms and the Tropicana, home to a pair of books included in the CGT deal, are still closed, with the Palms slated to remain that way until at least June 30, 2021.

The Tropicana is for sale, but a deal hasn’t been reached to change that venue’s control, so it’s not immediately clear how William Hill could be affected.

End of an Era

With the sale to William Hill approved, CGT’s time in Nevada is essentially over. Then known as Cantor Gaming, the company entered the Silver State in 2009.

The firm was ahead of its time, launching the first mobile sports betting app and introducing in-game wagering in Nevada.

However, CGT would eventually run afoul of federal and state regulators for compliance missteps, including illegal bets and money laundering, and by late 2018, the firm had paid out three of the largest fines in Nevada history.