COVID-19 has forced sportsbooks around the world to get creative. The grand-daddy of the US legal betting scene, Nevada is not immune to that fact. It has been behind the curve with respect to its mobile sports betting platform, specifically its requirement that bettors sign up in-person for a chance to place a wager from their phones. In turn, one of its major players, William Hill has been forced to open a drive-thru option for sports betting fans in the state hoping to sign up for an account and deposit funds into its mobile sportsbook, starting Friday.
With Nevada casinos shuttered for the foreseeable future, bettors in the state that had not previously signed up in-person for a mobile betting account have so far been left out in the cold. While William Hill's creative solution won't immediately solve Nevada's antiquated mobile betting sign-up rules, it may just kickstart a change in how Nevada bettors are able to access what has been a lucrative and dominant wagering platform in other areas in the country.
Simply put, if bettors can't sign up, access or deposit funds into a betting account, providers and ultimately the state will continue to miss out on mobile betting's huge revenue potential.
Starting Friday, William Hill's drive-thru services will be available at four of its Nevada casinos for two days – Friday and Saturday with an eye on the first real, marketable, promotable sporting event in months – UFC 249. Bettors will be able to sign up for an account or deposit funds from 11 AM to 5 PM on those days. Customers will be required to download the app prior to visiting one of the drive-thru locations.
Thinking outside the box, William Hill is offering a safe, social-distancing focused method of getting Nevada sports fans and wagering public back into the game, now that there is actually one to look forward to. It's drastic, its innovative but it is also a sign that we are about to embark on a new reality in the US.
"Ahead of the largest sporting events of the month, we wanted a safe way to meet the current demand from our customers," said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. "It sure is nice to have some American sports to bet on."
Other Perks of the Drive-thru
William Hill is tying their drive-thru service in to a UFC 249 bonus betting opportunity called "Watch the Fights on Us." Existing customers of William Hill in Nevada will get a $65 bonus when they bet $249 on UFC 249 while new customers using the drive-thru service will be eligible for a $65 bonus for simply betting $100 on Saturday's card.
William Hill, not unlike the NFL Draft has expanded its betting menu for UFC 249. The sportsbook boasts 90 different ways to bet on the most anticipated combat sports card in quite some time. Capitalizing in UFC 249 looks as though it will be crucial for sportsbooks around the country, and will be a good test in Nevada where mobile sports betting has lagged behind the more successful “new states” that offer a legal sports betting platform.
Casinos and sportsbooks rely on innovation to keep them fresh and keep them exciting for new and old customers alike. William Hill’s drive-thru sign-up idea is just another example of that. In Nevada, if you don’t have a mobile betting account already, William Hill will be your only option for this weekend’s enormous UFC card, for German soccer that will start up next week, for golf and NASCAR betting that will go live in the coming weeks.