William Hill is continuing to grow in Nevada.
The international sportsbook operator took a major step in its growth strategy Wednesday, winning unanimous recommendations of approval for licensing at seven properties at both ends of the state.
In three separate actions, the state Gaming Control Board recommended licensing approval for race and sports books at Jerry’s Nugget in North Las Vegas, four properties in Las Vegas and Laughlin under Golden Entertainment Inc., and two in Reno and Stateline under Eldorado Resorts Inc.
The approval in the Eldorado licensing included amending orders of registration involving the company’s plan to acquire 20 percent of William Hill US, which was announced Sept. 5. William Hill already operates sportsbooks at downtown Reno’s Eldorado and Stateline’s Montbleu properties, but the change in status requires new licensing.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will consider final approval on the matters on Jan. 24.
William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said once final approval is granted, the company would manage race and sportsbooks at the Stratosphere, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Arizona Charlie’s Boulder in Las Vegas as well as Aquarius in Laughlin.
Asher the company is making a “considerable” investment in the equipment and displays at the books.
“We’ll typically go in and upgrade the facilities, put in our equipment and the display systems that we use,” Asher said. “The Stratosphere book in particular is going through a substantial renovation right now.”
The company also will install self-serve kiosks in some of the properties.
Employees who work at the companies’ books will become William Hill employees when the transition is completed.
William Hill’s deal with Eldorado is substantial because the company has grown to become one of the nation’s largest regional operators.
Building a sports books can cost between $1 million and $2 million, William Hill said, putting the total investment in Eldorado’s sports books as high as $52 million.
William Hill US operates 137 books in the U.S., including Nevada, and is looking for more, William Hill PLC CEO Philip Bowcock said in September when the deal was first announced.
The Eldorado deal does not prevent William Hill US from striking more partnerships with casino operators, even in states where Eldorado is already present, he said.
“There is no doubt we will continue to do independent deals as we see fit. It’s still full guns blazing,” he said at the time.
Contact Richard N. Velotta at email@example.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.