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Interactive


BETTING ON SPORTS AMERICA DIGITAL - DECEMBER 1-2, 2020 WILLIAM HILL US


William Hill US: Project Expansion


Prior to kicking off Betting on Sports America – Digital on December 1, G3 interviews Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US.


Whilst total net revenue for the William Hill Group fell nine per cent in the third quarter, the operator’s US operations recorded a 10 per cent rise, including a 55 per cent increase in gaming sportsbook amounts wagered and more than double its previous gaming net revenue.


Ahead of a vote by shareholders on Caesars Entertainment’s proposed €3.51bn acquisition of the business on 17 November, Joe discusses the company’s rapid expansion into new states and the operator’s permanent in-arena sports book location in Washington D.C. William Hill US’ CEO explains the importance of having a footprint on the Las Vegas Strip following the acquisition of CG Technology and the potential impact a Biden Justice Department could have for ongoing legislation concerning the Wire Act in New Hampshire.


14 AND COUNTING In partnership with Caesars Entertainment,


William Hill US opened a full-service sports book at Harrah’s Philadelphia (“which is actually located in Chester – my mother-in-law is from Chester so I never fail to mention Chester when I can,” adds Joe). Te opening marks William Hill’s 14th state where it operates sports books, with more than 160 locations nationwide.


Te William Hill Sports Book at Harrah’s Philadelphia offers six ticket windows, 16 self- service betting kiosks and an expanded wagering menu that features in-play betting. Within the sports book space, Harrah’s Philadelphia will continue to operate “Te Book,” a premier sports book lounge that includes stadium lounge seats, high-top tables, custom bar seating, and over 45 large screen TVs to watch game-day action.


Joe comments: “I grew up in Delaware, which is adjacent to Pennsylvania, so I think I have a pretty good feel for the market and know that Harrah’s Philadelphia is a very good location. It is just off Interstate 95, so we are looking forward to operations there and participating in the mobile market.”


Despite being inhibited by a difficult tax rate, Pennsylvania is a market with great potential. Total revenue for September amounted to $284.2m, with igaming revenue rising from $4.1m in September 2019 to $57.0m this year. Joe has three reasons why he believed Pennsylvania was always going to prove a good market:


i) It is a very populous area;


ii)Tere is a real sports culture in the area that has existed for decades. Pennsylvania has a rich history surrounding sports with legendary franchises such as the Eagles,


Stevens, Jr., followed by a ceremonial first bet placed by NBA All-Star Rick Mahorn.


“Much of what I said about Pennsylvania could be said for Michigan except the team names would be different and throw in the fact they have a much bigger college football and basketball scene with the University of Michigan, and Michigan State, as well as a more friendly tax regime,” commented Joe.


“We’re making good preparations to be ready to launch a mobile product in the state when it is permitted. Like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, it is both sports and casino – the latter’s numbers are very strong and this presents a big opportunity for operators.”


Open seven days a week, the Onyx Sports Book features two ticket windows and two kiosks, adjacent to the table games and slot machines on the casino floor. Te sports book also offers 20 high-definition televisions, complimentary games, food and beverages, and an outdoor patio. Te satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino includes two kiosks for sports betting.


On launching the sports books, Michael Schrader, CEO of Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos, said: “We want to provide the best destination for sports betting in the state, and with William Hill as our partner, that's a bet we're happy to take. When Michigan regulations are permitted, we


“I grew up in Delaware, which is adjacent to Pennsylvania, so I think I have a pretty good feel for the market and know that Harrah’s Philadelphia is a very good location. It is just off Interstate 95, so we are looking forward to operations there and participating in the mobile market.”


Steelers, Flyers, Phillies and Penguins;


iii) Te weather - places that have cold winters and the possibility for bad weather, such as parts of the north east and central states, keeps people inside watching and betting on television sports.


WOLVERINE STATE In September, William Hill US and Grand


Traverse Resort & Casinos officially opened their first Michigan sports books at Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and a satellite location at Leelanau Sands Casino. Te long-term partnership with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians makes William Hill Grand Traverse’s exclusive partner for sports books, along with mobile sports betting and iCasino gaming, pending regulatory approvals. Te opening ceremony on September 23 included a ribbon-cutting with National Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernest L.


will be able to offer the best in online gaming and betting as well. Tis is truly a win-win for Northern Michigan.”


GOING FULL-TIME Following the successful launch of its pop-up


sports book at Capital One Arena in July, William Hill has unveiled a first look into the permanent sports book location that is expected to open in early 2021. In partnership with Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the William Hill Sports Book offers a first-of-its-kind sports fan experience inside a professional sports complex.


Te renderings showcase the multi-level entertainment space that will feature a full- service sports book with 12 ticket windows and 10 self-service kiosks, two VIP areas and one large private dining/event space. Te entertainment space will feature 1,500 square feet of custom LED that will wrap the entire facility and a jumbotron on the second level, a


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P107


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