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William hill doubles down on us ambitions with igt lottery partnership

The DraftKings Sportsbook is now live in New Jersey. Visit the DraftKings Sportsbook mobile app here for full details.
William Hill and IGT have entered into a multi-year agreement to offer US lotteries “a full-service solution for sports betting.”


The deal will see the partnership work on “all future sports betting opportunities and bid requests from U.S. lotteries on a mutually exclusive basis.”

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William Hill has been active in the Nevada sports betting market since 2012. It was the first operator to take a legal sports bet in New Jersey together with its Monmouth Park racetrack partner.

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In addition, it recently concluded a deal with Eldorado Resorts. This will give it access to provide sports betting in up to 21 Eldorado properties across the US. Where legal, the joint venture will also offer online sports betting.

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William Hill PLC CEO Philip Bowcock said of the Eldorado deal:
“Partnering with Eldorado gives William Hill access to one of the largest and most attractive casino footprints with 23 million customers across multiple states. This partnership provides extensive cross sell and profit growth opportunities to both parties. Together we are positioned to capture the evolving US opportunity – starting with land-based sports betting, and extending to digital sports betting and, in some states, online gaming.”

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Take a bird’s eye view and William Hill has suddenly put together a good strategy. Potentially, it gives it a massive footprint in casino, racetrack, online and lottery operated sports betting.
IGT and William Hill won the Rhode Island lottery sports betting contract

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William Hill and IGT are no strangers. Late August saw the two sign a five year deal to run sports betting in Rhode Island.
IGT was the sole bidder and will receive 32 percent of the lottery’s revenue for its technology service.
Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO, North America commented:
“IGT is uniquely positioned as a leader in both lottery and sports betting technologies to deliver innovative solutions that will expand the possibilities for players and for lotteries themselves in this exciting new market. By forming this partnership with William Hill, we are able to bring to our lottery customers in every state a world-class combination of technology and operational expertise.”

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IGT and William Hill have complementary skill sets

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IGT’s sports betting platform is already live in four US states, in partnership with other operators. William Hill is operating in all five states where legal sports betting is active. Hence it operates as either a B2B partner or under its own brand.
The press release explains how the two companies will fit together:
“The combined offer to U.S. lotteries under the new agreement will comprise IGT’s PlayShot™ end-to-end sports betting platform for land-based, retail, online, and mobile with William Hill’s operational, trading, player management, and strategic expertise in U.S. sports books.”

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Both companies remain free to strike deals with other partners for sports betting not operated by lotteries.

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Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US said:
“William Hill’s track record as an operator globally, and our clear leadership as a sports book operator in the U.S., in particular, mean that U.S. lotteries can be confident that in choosing IGT and us together, they will be benefiting from a reliable, trustworthy, and responsibly-managed solution – maximizing revenues to each state with a quality product and service.”
More sports betting deals are inevitable
In May, the Supreme Court decision overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The ruling has released a furious demand for sports betting deals.

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Certainly, it seems like every casino in the US is now in the market looking for a potential sports betting partner. Furthermore, every gaming technology company from around the world wants to talk to them.

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Recent deals have included:

  • GVC, MGM and Boyd—a 15 state venture with a joint venture between GVC and MGM. It’s seeded with $200 million to offer online sports betting, casino and poker.
  • Caesars and Scientific Games—already up and running with sports betting in Mississippi and New Jersey, the two companies have plans to expand wherever sports betting is legal.
  • Paddy Power Betfair and FanDuel—Huge European gambling company Paddy Power Betfair bought FanDuel. It will use the brand’s Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) footprint in over 40 states. This will be the basis for its own US sports betting ambitions.
  • Boyd Gaming and FanDuel—Boyd Gaming is only partially involved in the deal with GVC and MGM. Most noteworthy it has struck a separate deal with FanDuel. The deal will see the two enter into “a strategic partnership to pursue sports betting and online gaming opportunities across the United States.”
  • Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City and Kindred—Swedish company Kindred, the owner of the Unibet brand, had no US connections at all until now. It will not be satisfied with sports betting operations in New Jersey alone. Instead, it will look to expand to every state where sports betting is legal.

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It is amazing to see how rapidly the Supreme Court decision has turned an entire industry inside out. It has created opportunities that have attracted global companies to partner with US companies on such a scale.

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