William Hill to buy US-based Sports Betting Businesses

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Published on:
Apr/14/2011
William Hill

(Bloomberg News) - William Hill Plc (WMH), a U.K. bookmaker with about 2,350 shops, is entering the U.S. market by agreeing to acquire two Nevada land-based sports-betting businesses for a total consideration of about $39 million.

William Hill will buy American Wagering Inc. and Club Cal Neva Satellite Race and Sportsbook Division, the London-based company said in a statement today. Both supply sports-betting services to casinos and bars in Nevada, where it’s legal.

European gambling companies have been positioning themselves to gain business in the U.S., which banned online- gambling financial transactions in 2006. William Hill today called the acquisitions “only the start of our investments in the U.S. market.”

“Like us, Americans love the sport,” Chief Executive Officer Ralph Topping said in a conference call to analysts. “Like us, Americans love to bet, and we can bring the two together.”

Legislators have introduced online gambling bills in states such as New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. city council approved a budget allowing the district’s lottery to operate a poker website inside city limits.

Besides Nevada, sports betting is only legal in the U.S. in Montana, Delaware and Oregon. The Nevada sports-betting market was worth about $2.7 billion last year, according to William Hill.

In March, 888 Holdings Plc was approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission for a supplier relationship with Caesars Interactive Entertainment Inc. Playtech Ltd. has an agreement with New York-based Scientific Games Corp. to develop games together.

 

David Altaner and Colin Keatinge contributed to this report

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