Betfred, William Hill Now Have An Ownership Stake In Common

Written By Derek Helling on 03/13/2020 - Last Updated on July 8, 2022
Betfred William Hill

One future Colorado sportsbook operator now has a rooting interest in a potential competitor. Betfred owner Done Brothers Ltd. is the party of interest.

The company recently purchased just over 874 million shares of William Hill. The investment may lead to more collaborations in the future.

Betfred owner takes a small stake with potential for more

Done Brothers’ shares amount to just over 3% of William Hill’s total. It also represents the latest situation in which gambling companies have joined forces.

Other recent examples have included a merger between Caesars and Eldorado. Flutter’s acquisition of FanDuel was a big deal, as well.

While Done buying 3% of William Hill is hardly a merger, it’s still significant because it aligns the interests of the two companies. That could play out in Colorado.

Betfred has made a market access deal for the Centennial State. William Hill is still looking for a way in, however.

Betfred’s connections might help speed that process along. If that is the case, this could be a step toward William Hill competing for a significant share of the market.

Cash infusion comes at a crucial time for William Hill

Fiscal year 2019 was not a great one for William Hill. The company posted a loss of $43 million for the year.

The company has a plan for turning around those numbers. It’s a plan that requires a good amount of capital, however.

Betfred’s stock buy is a means toward that end. With the money, William Hill intends to scale out its products.

That might involve taking its sports betting product into Colorado, at least online. There are several casinos in the state still working out sportsbook operator deals.

With other sportsbooks in the state going live as soon as May 1, time is of the essence if William Hill is interested. Not only are other companies competing for deals with those casinos but to get to market first.

What will determine the race to first place in Colorado

Grabbing market share is not only about awareness but the quality of the product, as well. Raising awareness of the brand requires capital and strategy

Getting to market at the earliest opportunity is part of that strategy. Another key component is utilizing media channels like direct mailing and online advertisements.

The state may not be ready to approve online sportsbooks on May 1, but it could issue William Hill a license prior to that date. At that point, William Hill could begin tweaking its existing product for the state’s market.

Even if William Hill is late to market in comparison to other operators, it could still become competitive by offering more action and better odds. Colorado is poised to offer bettors a wide variety of markets, potentially including esports.

Right now, this just amounts to Done Brothers diversifying its investments. It was a crucial investment for William Hill as it looks to become more profitable.

For Coloradans, it might signal the entry of another operator into the market. The more competition there is, the better that usually is for the bettors.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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