William Hill faces more delays in licensing three Nev. casinos

Apr 24, 2012 3:00 AM

British bookmaker William Hill’s purchase of three Nevada sports book operations is probably months away from being licensed by state officials as the dynamics affecting the $53 million acquisition of American Wagering, Brandywine and Cal Neva continue to make life interesting for its principals.

GamingToday was the first to report the deal would miss the May agendas of the Gaming Control Board and Gaming Commission, but there are recent indications it may not be complete before the start of football season, the busiest time of the year for Nevada bookmakers.

Why the delay?

William Hill appears to be interested in exiting its partnership agreement with Playtech, the Israeli software company "with skeletons in its closet" that owns 40 percent of William Hill Online.

Hill could initiate a buyout of Playtech sometime after the first of the year, according to Las Vegas sources familiar with the architecture of the partnership.

This would probably satisfy any concerns Nevada officials have about the Playtech involvement in a corner of the Nevada gaming industry that is going to get increasing attention, as Internet gaming evolves and British companies gain increasing influence in a part of the Nevada gaming business that has never received so much attention.

Gaming regulators and those inside the proposed purchase have ceased responding to questions about the purchase as it has attracted more attention, a fact that helps to put the spotlight on another issue.

The volume of information being passed around about the purchase (as it was announced) a year ago suggests the presence of interests that would not be unhappy if it were to fail for one reason or another.

With or without the presence of Playtech, William Hill would not appear to have a problem completing its Nevada purchase…assuming it wants to.