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Checking in on William Hill USA

Checking in on William Hill USA
US casino giant Caesars Entertainment on Wednesday, September 30, announced a deal to buy William Hill. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

The William Hill Sportsbook has been in the news lately for a variety of reasons. Late September brought news of its $3.7 million sale to Caesars Entertainment. This deal is expected to close later next year, and the middle of September saw William Hill partnering with ESPN in a deal that will link integrations from ESPN’s digital platforms to William Hill sportsbooks.

William Hill has also been busy opening up sportsbooks in new jurisdictions. The book entered the Michigan market in late September at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel, as well as a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino in Traverse City. This week saw them quietly launch William Hill Sportsbook at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in partnership with Caesars Entertainment in Chester, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

A Truly National Brand

With William Hill’s September expansion, the brand has cemented itself as one of the biggest, most broadly accessed sports betting providers in the US. The Company now has a strong presence in Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., and West Virginia.

Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack in Pennsylvania makes it 14 states where William Hill has a legal sportsbook and 160 locations nationwide. The impending marriage between William Hill and Caesars will create it a true juggernaut and definitely hasn’t slowed down the expansion plans of William Hill so far. More locations are expected to be added before William Hill begins to fall under the Caesars umbrella.

Making a Difference in DC

The Washington DC sports betting industry, previously run by The DC Lottery, had been widely viewed as a disaster since launch but William Hill and its “pop-up” sportsbook at Capital One Arena has given the platform a little legitimacy. This week gave us a glimpse into what the permanent sportsbook will look like upon completion at the beginning of 2021.

William Hill’s kiosks and mobile wagering platform was responsible for $12.2 million in bets for the month of September, thanks to an estimated 113.000 bets. That represents a 33.5% handle increase from the $9.1 in August and a 63.6% jump in bets taken in over that same period.

As for the permanent book at Capital One Arena, artist renderings from Monumental Sports & Entertainment point to the creation of an elite wagering experience in the full-service sportsbook.

“The success of the William Hill pop-up sportsbook has exceeded our expectations, and we’re excited to create the next phase of the sports fan experience with our permanent location inside the Capital One Arena,” David Grolman, president of retail operations for William Hill US, said in the news release. “What we’re creating now is a game-day experience that can’t be rivaled. Offering a full-service sportsbook and restaurant, with an ambiance built around the excitement and energy of live sporting events.”

The Move to Pennsylvania

Thursday’s announcement of William Hill’s move into Pennsylvania at Harrah’s Philadelphia in Chester was certainly under-the-radar. As it stands, there will be six teller windows, 16 self-service kiosks, and an expanded betting menu that features line, in-play wagering available to bettors in the jurisdiction.

The launch of the mobile platform “Caesars Casino & Sportsbook by Harrah’s Philadelphia” coincided with William Hill’s Pennsylvania opening for those bettors that have a more internet-betting focus.

William Hill has been a factor in every jurisdiction it has entered thus far and is expected to be a major addition to an already stout and competitive Pennsylvania scene.

The Future of William Hill

It is expected that the transition from William Hill to Caesars sportsbooks will take about a year, so the book still has some work to do for the purchasing company. William Hill has proven that they aren’t about to just exit the US market quietly.

Expect more William Hill expansion and for the British bookmaker to continue serving Caesars Entertainment well. One year is an eternity in the US sports betting scene.