Caesars-William Hill Deal: What It Means For Colorado Sports Bettors

Posted on September 30, 2020 - Last Updated on November 4, 2020

One major sports betting enterprise is on the cusp of being acquired with another.

This is why sports bettors in Colorado should care.

The William Hill app that is live in Colorado is set to be purchased by Caesars Entertainment.

The news was announced on Wednesday morning.

According to the news release, Caesars will purchase William Hill for $3.7 billion.

The acquisition is subject to antitrust and regulatory approvals. Completion should take place in the second half of 2021, per the news release. The move is also conditional on the approval of William Hill shareholders.

To become effective, the proposal must also be approved by a majority of William Hill shareholders.

For the court meeting, at least 75% in value of the William Hill shares must vote to approve. For the general meeting, a special resolution implementing the scheme must be passed by William Hill shareholders representing at least 75%.

As Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said in the release:

“The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect. William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to serve our customers in the fast-growing US sports betting and online market. We look forward to working with William Hill to support future growth in the U.S. by providing our customers with a superior and comprehensive experience across all areas of gaming, sports betting, and entertainment.”

What does the Caesars-William Hill move mean for Colorado?

William Hill launched its mobile app in Colorado in early September.

As for the Colorado sports betting market, not much will change because of this merger. The goal is to become a major players (more on that later), and that includes Colorado.

Mobile customers will continue to get a user-friendly platform that provides futures and odds that are specific to the Colorado market.

William Hill has been active in the US since 2012. That’s when the company established William Hill US. That put a focus on retail and mobile operations in Nevada.

This move will also impact the retail sportsbooks that William Hill currently has at the Isle Casino Hotel and Lady Luck Casino in Black Hawk.

As part of this deal, William Hill runs online sports betting operations through Caesars’ market access in each state. It also runs retail sports betting operations in Caesars’ properties.

That also means that William Hill would be afforded new and complete access to Caesars’ brand and highly regarded loyalty program (that had approximately 60 million members at the end of 2019), which it currently does not have, per the news release.

Caesars looking to compete with major sportsbooks

This deal is more about the US sports betting market and wanting to compete with the likes of BetMGM Sports, DraftKings and FanDuel. All those sportsbooks are live in Colorado.

According to the release, here are a few of the benefits Caesars believes this move brings to customers:

  • More unified customer experience by consolidating applications and wallets.
  • World-class portfolio of assets and brands.
  • William Hill’s sports betting expertise.
  • Established technology program and roadmap (including its highly regarded scalable and secure Liberty Technology platform).

As Roger Devlin, the chairman of William Hill, said in the release:

“The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders. It recognizes the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximize the U.S. opportunity given intense competition in the U.S. and the potential for regulatory disruption in the U.K. and Europe.”

In terms of what this means for William Hill in the UK and Europe, the release states that Caesars’ intention is to seek suitable partners or owners who have aligned objectives and approaches.

Ian St. Clair Avatar
Written by
Ian St. Clair

Ian St. Clair is an award-winning sports journalist. He is a University of Northern Colorado graduate, Colorado native and has over a decade of experience covering college and professional athletics. Ian does a segment each Saturday on Klahr and Kompany on Denver radio station ESPN 1600 AM.

View all posts by Ian St. Clair