William Hill US and Eldorado Resorts announce partnership
September 06, 2018 12:00 PM
by Robert Mann
William Hill US and Eldorado Resorts have jointly revealed a wide-ranging partnership agreement that will put the British-controlled bookmaking company’s operation in Eldorado operated casinos, where legal, nationwide.
Reno-based Eldorado will take a 20 percent stake in William Hill’s U.S. operation, as well as a minor stake in the company’s worldwide operation. The British news outlet Sky News was first to report the deal. A few hours later, Tuesday, an official statement was released to the media.
The statement said the two companies are forging “a nationwide partnership for digital and land-based sports betting and online gaming in the United States.”
Las Vegas-based William Hill now becomes Eldorado’s exclusive partner in the providing digital and land-based sports betting services as well as online gaming. The online gaming provision to the pact appears to be the first variation from William Hill’s previous U.S. business model, which had previously focused only on sports wagering.
The official announcement says capital investment in sportsbooks in five existing casino properties would begin shortly, with expenditures jointly shared between the partners.
The agreement is for an initial 25-year term, the announcement said.
William Hill now gains access to 13 states where sports betting is either legal or where sports betting bills are soon likely to be adopted.
Eldorado has 21 properties across 11 states and a customer base of 23 million people. The rapidly growing Reno-based company will soon take over various Tropicana Entertainment Inc. properties, which will soon increase its footprint to 26 properties in 13 states. That deal, which does not include the Tropicana in Las Vegas (owned by Penn National), is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approval.
Eldorado, listed as ERI on NASDAQ, is controlled by Alex Meruelo, 64, who has led his Meruelo Group holding company in various, diverse acquisitions including a Los Angeles Spanish-language television station, and more recently, the SLS casino/resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
William Hill US has operated the sports book at Eldorado’s Grand Sierra casino/resort in Reno since 2012.