Caesars Entertainment Makes Bid to Purchase William Hill
October 6, 2020
In a move that is sure to shake up the online gambling market in the U.S., Caesars Entertainment has announced the company has made a tender offer to purchase British gambling conglomerate William Hill. After surviving a bidding war with Apollo Global Management, William Hill's executive management accepted Caesars' final bid of £2.9 billion or $2.242 billion U.S. dollars.
For over 85 years, William Hill has been a top provider of gambling services in the U.K. When the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the U.S. ban on sports and online gambling, William Hill began working immediately to establish itself as a major player on this side on the pond. They currently account for about 10% of the U.S. sports gambling market and have made recent overtures to start offering online casino gambling services.
As part of its U.S. involvement, William Hill has already successfully partnered with Caesars Entertainment. Through a joint venture partnership, the partners are running retail and online sportsbooks in as many as 16 U.S. states. It's worth noting that Caesars maintains ownership in 54 casinos currently operating on U.S. soil.
According to William Hill Chairman Roger Devlin in a press release:
“The William Hill Board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders. It recognizes the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximize the U.S. opportunity given the intense competition in the U.S. and the potential for regulatory disruption in the UK and Europe.”
Currently, William Hill is a major player in the Nevada online sports betting market. In August of this year, Nevada operations accounted for about $474 million in sports gambling revenue. While it was one of the company's top months in the U.S., the revenue fell short of the nearly $668 million recorded in New Jersey by New Jersey bookmakers like DraftKings and FanDuel.
As a combined entity, Caesars and William Hill see the potential of the company bringing in as much as $30 billion a year in gambling revenue. The combination of these two gambling behemoths is sure to intensify the competition with other major bookmakers in the U.S.
It will take a bit of time to get through the legalities and necessary approval processes in both countries to clear this deal. Caesars Entertainment expects this deal to close sometime in the middle of 2021.