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William Hill Increases Sportsbook Presence in Las Vegas

| November 26, 2019 9:46 pm PDT
William Hill Increases Presence in Las Vegas

Subject to meeting various closing conditions and gaining regulatory approval in Nevada, William Hill, the UK-based sports betting company, will greatly improve its presence in Las Vegas, taking over the six sportsbooks currently operated by CG Technology at several luxury “marquee” resort-casinos. Additionally, William Hill will take over providing a betting platform and risk management consulting to the Atlantis on Paradise Island, Bahamas.

The purchase includes the sportsbook assets of CG Technology’s Nevada and Bahamas operations. In Las Vegas, William Hill is acquiring CG Tech’s leases at the Cosmopolitan, the Palms, the Tropicana, Silverton, and the Venetian as well as the Palazzo.

William Hill is arguably the world’s largest single operator of sportsbooks, with more than 1400 licensed betting offices in the United Kingdom, as well as 113 sportsbooks in Nevada, which—with this most recent acquisition—becomes 120 Nevada wagering operations.

In addition to its nearly 1600 brick and mortar sportsbooks, William Hill also serves online punters in the UK, Ireland, and numerous other countries from its digital hubs in Gibraltar and Malta.

The company’s American arm —William Hill US—was established in 2012 and quickly began both retail and mobile operations in Nevada, becoming the largest sports betting business in the United States within a few years. In addition to operating more than 100 race and sportsbooks in Nevada, William Hill US also operates one of Nevada’s leading mobile sports betting apps.

William Hill US already operates more sportsbooks in Nevada than any other operator, mostly with betting windows and a few screens at many so-called “locals casinos.” The move into marquee resort-casinos like the Cosmopolitan and the Venetian can add luster to the company’s reputation as a premier sportsbook operator.

CG Technology’s Troubled History in Nevada

The deal will almost certainly burnish the reputation of the CG Tech sportsbooks in Nevada, as well. CG Technology has had multiple run-ins with the Nevada Gaming Control Board for infractions ranging from software glitches that resulted in both over- and under-payments of winnings to permitting out-of-state bettors to place wagers at their sportsbooks.

In 2018, CG Technology narrowly avoided losing its Nevada gaming license when the Nevada Gaming Commission agreed to accept the company’s offer of $2 million to settle serious compliance failures rather than revoke its license.

One of those infractions—allowing messengers to place bets for out-of-state punters—resulted in the then-highest fine ever levied against a Nevada gambling operation. The year was 2014, and CG Technology was still known as Cantor G&W Holdings when the Nevada Gaming Commission assessed the company with a fine of $5.5 million.

CG Tech’s error? It failed to prevent an executive employee from building an external betting ring that used messengers to place a reported $34 million in illegal out-of-state wagers at one of the company’s sportsbooks in Las Vegas, located inside the M Resort.

But despite CG Tech’s difficulties with the Nevada Gaming Board, patrons of its sportsbooks in Nevada praise its comfortable seating, its high-definition video monitors, and generally, its unique approach to design of each sportsbook to match the particular resort-casino it inhabits.

Incidentally, William Hill US took over CG Technology’s sportsbook at M Resort earlier this year when CG’s 10-year lease expired.

“Seamless Transition”

In a recent press release announcing the acquisition, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said: “This will allow us to expand our Las Vegas footprint to several marquee resorts. We look forward to working with our new casino partners and transitioning CG Technology’s retail and mobile customers to our award-winning offering.”

Commenting on the deal, CG Technology CEO Parikshat Khanna told reporters: “We […] look forward to a seamless transition for our loyal casino partners and customers.”

Founded in London in 1934 at a time when placing wagers was illegal in England, William Hill (named for its founder) changed hands many times over the years. It is currently listed on the London Stock Exchange (LON: WMH).

William Hill US also operates racing and sportsbooks in Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi, and New Mexico. Additionally, the company provides risk management to both the Delaware and Rhode Island sports lotteries.

What about that “regulatory approval” mentioned at the top of this article? Could that be anything but certain?

In punter parlance, regulatory approval is probably a mortal lock—at least, according to industry insiders. For one thing, the Nevada Gaming Commission is almost drawing a sigh of relief that CG Technology will not be running sportsbooks in the state for much longer. For another, William Hill US has shown itself to be a trustworthy partner in gaming solutions for states from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

It’s unclear whether William Hill will also operate the CG Technology sportsbook at Hard Rock Hotel when it opens up later next year as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. More likely will be additional sportsbooks coming under William Hill’s purview thanks to an agreement the company struck in January 2019 with Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (now Caesars Entertainment) that gave William Hill US exclusive rights to operate sportsbooks at Eldorado properties for the next 25 years. In return, Eldorado acquired a 20% interest in William Hill US.

J.W. Paine

J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and is a published novelist (as Tom Elliott).

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he loves living here. An experienced gambler, he's especially familiar with thoroughbred horseracing, poker, blackjack, and slots.

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