William Hill closes in on CG Technology deal

As William Hill took a step closer Wednesday to taking over sportsbook operations of CG Technology, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said mobile sports wagering along with the return of American team sports is strong in Nevada and elsewhere and touted the long-term prospects of sports betting.

Asher spoke to the Nevada Gaming Control Board Wednesday as it recommended the Nevada Gaming Commission approve William Hill’s takeover of six casino sportsbooks operated by CG Technology. The plan calls for William Hill to take over the leases at The Cosmopolitan, Palms, Silverton, Tropicana, The Venetian and Palazzo by the end of August. A deal was announced in November for United Kingdom-based William Hill to acquire the assets of Las Vegas-based CG Technology as well as those in The Bahamas.

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Last month, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved William Hill taking control of Caesars Entertainment’s sportsbooks as part of Caesars’ merger with Eldorado Resorts.

William Hill won’t take over CG’s operation at the former Hard Rock Hotel that’s being renovated and reopened at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas this fall. Betfred USA Sports has been selected to operate that, and William Hill on Wednesday formally withdrew its application to take over that lease.

Asher told the board “it’s been quite a long road” to get where they are today in the process. He said they were excited to take over the operations of the CG Technology sportsbooks and that William Hill would settle litigation involving CG Technology in Las Vegas as well as in Delaware.

“If approved, we look forward to bringing our market-leading product to the customers of these properties,” Asher said. “With respect to individual wagers, we will honor outstanding tickets.”

Asher said they expect to migrate existing CG Technology customers to the William Hill platform and hire many CG employees, not only in the sportsbooks but in corporate offices as well.

The plan calls for rebranding CG Technology sportsbooks under William Hill. There have been discussions about retrofitting properties, he said.

In response to a board question, Asher talked about the increase in sports betting with the return of American team sports.

“The mobile business is really hot right now here in Nevada and elsewhere as well with the resumption of sports,” Asher said. “The retail business is starting to come back.”

In Washington, D.C. where William Hill opened last week at Capital One Arena, Asher said the line is out the door and down the block to get in and make a bet in the box office area.

“We’re hoping for the best with respect to the health issues surrounding the resumption of sports and mindful of what’s going on now with college football,” Asher said. “But these are short-term issues that we have to deal with, but the long-term perspective is pretty good.”

Mobile can be launched within a two-block radius in D.C. but federal buildings will have to be blocked off, Asher said.

About the Author

Buck Wargo

Buck Wargo is a former journalist with the Los Angeles Times and has been based in Las Vegas as a business, real estate and gaming reporter since 2005.

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