RENO, Nev. — Caesars Entertainment announced this week is acquiring British bookmaker William Hill for $3.7 billion as the company looks to capitalize on one of the largest areas of growth in the U.S. gaming industry.
Caesars announced the deal Sept 29, saying the company is interested in William Hill’s U.S. assets and would seek to sell off William Hill’s assets in the United Kingdom and other countries.
“The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect,” Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said in a statement. “William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to better serve our customers in the fast-growing U.S. sports betting and online market.”
Completion of the transaction remains subject to certain closing conditions and approval of William Hill shareholders.
“The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders,” company chairman Roger Devlin said in a statement.
The news of the pending acquisition comes a handful of weeks after the $17.3 billion Eldorado-Caesars merger that closed in July, officially rebranding Reno-based Eldorado Resorts as Caesars Entertainment.
Caesars and William Hill already operate a joint U.S. venture, with 20% and 80% equity ownership, respectively, in which William Hill runs online sports betting operations through Caesars’ market access in each state and retail sports betting operations in Caesars’ properties, as well as those of other casino operators around the U.S.
“Caesars believes the current joint venture structure between Caesars and William Hill in the U.S. needs to be broadened in scope in order to fully maximize the opportunity in the sports betting and gaming sector and provide the best possible customer experience,” according to a Sept. 29 press release.
Per the release, Caesars expects that the enlarged sports and online gaming business in the U.S. could generate between $600 million to $700 million in net revenue in FY2021 on a pro-forma basis.