As Caesars Entertainment jumped through all of the bureaucratic hoops to secure its acquisition of sports gambling giant William Hill, there was some concern that another entity might try to muscle its way in at the last minute. Caesars has now made sure that this won’t happen, as it quickly closed on the purchase deal yesterday. William Hill is now completely part of the large gaming conglomerate that has its hands in land-based casinos, online gaming and sports gambling.
Caesars Wastes No Time Securing William Hill
Caesars, which already owned 20% of William Hill US, had dumped a lot of resources into ensuring the acquisition of the sportsbook could be completed quickly. After William Hill shareholders signed off on the arrangement last November, the gaming operator moved swiftly to receive the necessary regulatory approvals it needed, as well. The latest – and most important – came only a few days ago when the High Court of Justice in England and Wales allowed the purchase to move forward.
Before the ink was dry on the agreement, it was announced that William Hill CEO Joe Asher had stepped down, leaving Caesars CEO Tom Reeg at the helm, at least for now. It isn’t clear what type of severance package Asher will receive, but it is certain to be generous. Asher had been with the company even before it began, having founded, in 2008, Brandywine Bookmaking, a sportsbook William Hill purchased in 2012.
Reeg said of the completion of the acquisition, “We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of William Hill, combining two of the premier operations in the sports betting and iGaming industries under one roof. We look forward to announcing future sports partnerships that will drive long-term growth.”
Caesars Grows Its Footprint Overnight
Between Caesars and William Hill, the two operate sportsbooks in 18 locations – 17 states and DC – in the US. 13 of these offering online sports gambling and, moving forward, Caesars will use the momentum of the acquisition to be able to reach 20 locations by the end of this year. The two had an ongoing partnership prior to the acquisition, with William Hill operating sportsbooks at Caesars properties in several states, but most of its books weren’t linked to the casino operator. With the new partnership between Caesars and the NFL, the consummation of the $3.7-billion purchase of William Hill couldn’t have come at a better time.
Existing William Hill customers won’t see many changes to their accounts, other than some possible cosmetic upgrades. Those customers will gain access to the loyalty program offered by Caesars which is valid at both land-based and online casinos and will see all of the data integrated into a “single-wallet offering” of sports gambling and online gaming options. The rollout of the integration hasn’t been determined, but will likely take a couple of months.