William Hill Links Up With Eldorado Resorts In Major US Sports Betting Deal

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It appears William Hill and Eldorado Resorts will enter into the next major marriage in the burgeoning US sports betting market.

According to a report from Sky News in the UK, William Hill and Eldorado will partner to bring legal sports betting to up to 21 casinos across the country.

The deal reportedly gives Eldorado a 20-percent equity stake in William Hill’s US operation. Eldorado also receives more than $64 million in restricted stock in William Hill, a position which would vest over five years.

Filling in a big missing puzzle piece

Eldorado previously was one of the largest US casino operators without a sportsbook deal. MGM Resorts and GVC inked a $200 million deal in August, the same month in which Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group announced a national partnership. FanDuel Group is the US spinoff of the company after its acquisition earlier this year by European operator Paddy Power Betfair.

Separately, MGM and Boyd reached a market-sharing agreement allowing the companies to operate in states in which they do not have their own casino. That arrangement will allow MGM and Boyd to reach 15 states in total, effectively creating one of the larger operators in the nation.

Eldorado’s presence extends across the country

Based in Reno, Nev., Eldorado features properties spread throughout the United States. The company owns three casinos in Nevada, and also operates in Mississippi, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. All of those states will be active in sports betting before the end of the year.

Eldorado did not appear the most likely national partner for William Hill for the past few months. In the time since the Supreme Court repealed PASPA, William Hill methodically announced deals with Penn National properties throughout the nation. In fact, the bookmaker became the only operation to have a presence in all five states in which sports betting currently is legal.

Penn National and Scientific Games also reportedly have explored partnership talks that could be revisited after today’s report.

Eldorado also owns casinos in:

William Hill not Eldorado’s only suitor

Industry sources tell Legal Sports Report that DraftKings also participated in talks with Eldorado and offered an equity stake. DraftKings reportedly raised in recent weeks nearly half of a planned $200 million funding round toward a $1.5 billion valuation.

Whether any of DraftKings’ investors anticipated a deal in which the company expanding its reach via Eldorado is a reasonable question in light of this news. Caesars Entertainment is the most prominent name of the remaining casino operators without an announced partnership.

DraftKings Sportsbook launched last month in New Jersey sports betting under the Resorts AC license. Its mobile app enjoyed a three-week head start in the New Jersey market, which could lead to a strong month of revenue. August numbers will be announced next month.