William Hill profits grow as investment in Nevada, Delaware pays off

William Hill Plc, which operates sports books, mobile betting apps and kiosks in Nevada, said Friday its U.S. operations posted a modest profit for the first six months of the year.

Its Las Vegas-based William Hill U.S. bookmaking business, which also handles risk management for the Delaware lottery, reported earnings of $917,871 for the 26 weeks ended July 2. The company noted that the operating profit was reported “ahead of the peak NFL and NCAA football” season.

William Hill also noted the change in kiosks regulations in Nevada in its earnings presentation.

In June, Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signed a bill banning sports betting kiosks from establishments holding a restricted license. A restricted license in Nevada allows a business to operate a maximum of 15 slot machines.

William Hill repositioned their kiosks, and now operates more than 40 mobile sports deposit hotspots in bars and taverns statewide. The so-called hotspots allow customers to fund their mobile accounts and get updated lines on games.

William Hill also completed its acquisition of the Australian operations of Sportingbet earlier this year and relaunched it as William Hill Australia in March. “Australia is a very attractive proposition and, since we assumed ownership, we are excited by the opportunity we see to develop William Hill Australia by improving our digital offer and targeting the recreational customer,” Ralph Topping, CEO of William Hill said.

The company said it profited from the $611,401 bet in June and July on the birth of the royal baby, Prince George, in London, which drew 4,000 new customers to William Hill.

William Hill reported an operating profit of $277.2 million for the first six months, compared with $256.3 million for the same period last year. Sportingbet Australia accounted for only less than 5 percent of William Hill’s revenue, since the acquisition closed on March 19.

Overall, revenues in the first half of 2013 were $1.14 billion, compared with $959.03 million last year.

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