William Hill expanding as sports betting competition takes off

Updated August 3, 2018 - 6:17 pm

Sports wagering giant William Hill said Friday it has signed sports betting agreements with a dozen casinos in the U.S. and is in talks with more operators.

The United Kingdom-based bookmaker also said it is ramping up hirings in Nevada for more U.S. business.

The expansion announcement comes five days after one of its largest competitors, GVC Holdings, signed a $200 million joint venture with MGM Resorts International to bring sports betting to potentially 15 states.

William Hill said in a statement it will provide sports betting risk management services and mobile betting technology to 11 casinos in Mississippi and a “soon-to-be-announced” partner in West Virginia.

“The company is also in discussions with operators about sports betting deals that would cover a further 14 U.S. states,” William Hill said in the statement.

The company already has sports betting operations in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey and a race book in Iowa.

William Hill, which operates 107 books in Nevada, has boosted its staff in the Silver State by “dozens and dozens” since the end of last year and now has more than 500 employees, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said.

“There is a lot of hiring going on. We are ramping up for a much bigger business,” Asher said.

William Hill has increased its staff from 424 to 549 and expects to add another 50 in the coming months. The company has been hiring for various departments, including technology, compliance, bookmaking and human resources, Asher said.

Penn National will have casino operations in 18 states — including the four states where William Hill is present — when it completes the acquisition of Las Vegas-based rival Pinnacle Entertainment in the early fourth quarter.

The casino operator will launch sports betting in Mississippi and West Virginia before the start of football season, which kicks off at the end of the month, said Eric Schippers, a senior vice president for public affairs.

“We are lining up a potential partner to operate our sports book,” he said.

Schippers declined to say if Penn is the partner William Hill referenced in its release. A partnership with Penn National would give William Hill an additional 14 states.

CG Technology runs the books at Penn National’s two Las Vegas properties M Resort and Tropicana, and the company has yet to announce a partner to operate its sports books outside Nevada.

Contact Todd Prince at 702-383-0386 or tprince@reviewjournal.com. Follow @toddprincetv on Twitter.

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