How Did Caesars, William Hill App Crashes Affect Nevada Super Bowl Handle?

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More than 40 hours after crashing during the biggest wagering event of the year, Caesars Nevada sports betting apps are still down with no timeline for a resolution.

Caesars Entertainment officials said Tuesday they are still working on restoring the William Hill and Caesars Sportsbook apps for NV sports betting after both crashed on Super Bowl Sunday, citing “system failure” issues with their “real-time data system.”

 “We have pinpointed the cause of the system failure and are now working through the resolution with all of our available resources,” Kate Whiteley, Vice President of Corporate Communications and Production at Caesars Entertainment, said in a statement.

Caesars Nevada a big slice of pie

CEO Thomas Reeg posited in 2021 that Caesars took approximately 50% of legal bets in Nevada, where apps like DraftKings and FanDuel stay out of the market because of the state’s antiquated in-person registration laws.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board “is aware of the issue and board agents from the enforcement and technology division are currently investigating the matter,” it said it a statement.

Las Vegas dark during Super Bowl

While the issue did not affect its apps in other states, it did affect in-person sportsbooks in Nevada that Caesars either owns or leases William Hill technology to. Those are all back up and running, according to Whiteley.

Caesars owns 16 properties with sportsbooks in Nevada, according to its website. The Venetian and Hard Rock Las Vegas are among several separately owned Las Vegas casinos that power sportsbooks with William Hill.

Nevada sportsbooks took $153.2 million worth of bets on the Super Bowl, a 14% decline from last year, according to revised numbers from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The decline was not totally unexpected considering neighboring Arizona hosted the first Super Bowl in a legal sports betting state. Super Bowl handle tends to fluctuate year-to-year, as well, as Nevada sportsbooks saw lower handles in 2021 and 2019.

Caesars crashes isolated to Nevada

Caesars officials declined to get into why only Nevada was impacted, but the issue could stem from relying on older technology.

The company planned to transition all of it US sports betting properties onto Liberty, the company’s own fully integrated tech stack by the end of 2022. But Whiteley confirmed to LSR Tuesday that Caesars and William Hill Nevada apps still use the sportsbook’s legacy tech platform.

“Unfortunately, as can occur when dealing with a complex, real-time data system, this has taken longer than we had hoped or expected,” Whiltey said. “We sincerely apologize for the frustration and inconvenience it’s caused our valued customers. While we move as expeditiously as possible, we also do so with an abundance of caution to ensure that we do not exacerbate or repeat the issue and that when we bring the platform back up, it stays up.”

The Nevada crashes will likely be a key topic during the company’s Q4 earnings call next week.

A previous version of this story included a link to Super Bowl numbers inaccurately reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.