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William Hill to run Eldorado, Caesars sportsbooks

The Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission Wednesday signed off on William Hill operating the sportsbooks at the combined Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment as part of the pending merger.

Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said the company’s relationship with Eldorado started in 2012 with the Eldorado in downtown Reno and that expanded in 2018 when Eldorado obtained a 20 percent interest in William Hill US and interest in parent company in exchange to grant exclusive rights at current and future Eldorado-owned properties across the country.

“The great thing about that deal is we never had an in-person meeting when we were negotiating the deal,” Asher told the Gaming Control Board. “We were betting on their continued growth. We always thought that one day they would own all or part of Caesars. …  We’re fortunate to have been along for the ride.”

With the merger, Asher said they will have 150 retail locations across nine states. William Hill operates 113 race and sports books across Nevada. It operates 10 sports books for Eldorado across the country and will add the 11 Caesars sportsbooks in Nevada, including Caesars Palace that Asher called iconic.

“As a little boy in front of the television in Wilmington, Delaware, I remember watching those legendary boxing matches taking place live from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas,” Asher said. “It’s meaningful to be here today for this purpose.”

With the exception of the Cromwell, all of the sportsbooks will offer pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, Asher said. They anticipate hiring many of the Caesars sportsbook employees and would expect to start operations at the end of July or early August.

“The most immediate renovations to the Caesars sportsbooks will be the addition of our self-service kiosks and updated odds displays,” Asher said.

Existing Caesars’ mobile customers will be moved to William Hill’s Nevada platform and will launch a Caesars’ sportsbook by William Hill app that will have similar features to the existing William Hill app.[Text Wrapping Break]As for the return of team sports with the NBA in Orlando NHL in two hub cities and MLB in home stadiums and all without fans, Asher said that will change the lines with no home-team advantage. Travel also won’t be the factor it was in setting lines, he added.