Caesars Entertainment Buys William Hill Sportsbooks

Casino giant Caesars Entertainment has made its first big move since merging with Eldorado Resorts. The company has acquired William Hill, the sports book folks.

Caesars is purchasing William Hill for $3.7 billion, and the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

William Hill Caesars

For each share held, William Hill shareholders will get 272 pence. We have no idea what those are, but they sound adorable.

Sports betting has taken off in recent years, despite our best efforts, and it’s clear Caesars Entertainment wanted a bigger piece of the action.

The purchase of William Hill wasn’t without some drama, of course. Apollo Global Management was also interested, but Caesars made it clear if Apollo won the bidding war, Caesars would pull the plug on its deal with William Hill.

William Hill has an existing partnership with Caesars Entertainment, running its sports book operations at Caesars casinos in 16 states across the U.S.

It sounds like Caesars will sell off William Hill’s overseas assets, including in the U.K., where William Hill is based.

As we are not a sports person, we’re sort of baffled by the Caesars Entertainment purchase of William Hill.

Caesars has about $8.8 billion in debt already, and this seems a hefty investment in a part of the casino business that brings in relatively little revenue.

Sports books tend to be an amenity for players, like salons and poker rooms.

Sports book

Yes, this is exactly what everyone at every sports book looks like.

For example, in August 2020, Nevada casinos made $17 million from sports betting. That’s all Nevada casinos, combined. Before taxes and expenses.

While $475 million was wagered, the “hold” was a mere 3.58 percent.

We keep hearing people talking about the “fast-growing legal sports betting industry in the U.S.,” so we’re probably missing something.

Casino companies are obviously betting big on the potential future growth of online sports wagering, and online gambling in general.

Ultimately, such acquisitions tend to be about data. Yours, specifically. Each of these companies have valuable databases, and now they get to share.

It’s unlikely sports bettors will see many changes to their favorite sports books resulting from this deal.

Opinions vary widely about William Hill, with approximately one percent of its customers kvetching 24/7, but the company pretty much owns the sports book realm in Las Vegas.

William Hill Tropicana

Yes, we accidentally took a photo of the sports book at Tropicana. We were drunk.

Sports, in general, is taking up more Las Vegas bandwidth, given its new big league teams, the Vegas Golden Knights and Las Vegas Raiders.

The bottom line: Good luck finding a Las Vegas bar or restaurant without sports on.

You can read more about “compelling strategic rationale” of the purchase of William Hill by Caesars Entertainment in the news release.

Or just read our superficial and clueless take on this “historic acquisition” again. You do you.

6 thoughts on “Caesars Entertainment Buys William Hill Sportsbooks

  1. Mike Alexakis

    Recently Caesars outsourced their sports book management and operations, to William Hill, and forced their longtime employees to apply for their own jobs with William Hill, now they bought William Hill… Smells like rotten fish to me, this is corporate chair shifting that never in history works out well for regular folks, they did this because they can. Why would industry leader Caesars outsource to begin with, the first super sports book as big as a Costco store was built in Caesars Palace decades ago, I remember well my first visit there, it blew my mind… I am only an occasional sports bettor, but a giant sports fan. Anyone risking their rent money or gambling bankroll on games where idiot referee’s have to make snap decisions on action going a thousand miles per hour are nuts if you ask me, heck an NBA ref was convicted of fixing games. I bet golf, lunch money level, not sushi. Maybe there is a future of lavish riches for Caesars in sports betting, they sure dance around like Paula Abdul trying to make it happen…

    Reply
  2. Jackson

    “Caesars has about $8.8 billion in debt already, and this seems a hefty investment in a part of the casino business that brings in relatively little revenue.”

    We’re in the middle of a global pandemic. Most reasonable people are staying out of casinos. Plus, the United States is effectively closed to foreign tourists.

    Any company in that much debt shouldn’t be spending an additional $3.7 billion right now.

    But, it’s good to know that Caesars won’t be seeking any public money to stay afloat should the pandemic cause them further financial stress. After all, if they can raise $3.7 billion, they shouldn’t need any public money in the form of grants or loans.

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  3. Coop

    When will we get a well moralled Company to take my income from me in the form of entertainment.
    To bad that business model only exists on Sundays! LOL

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  4. Ken Houghton

    So, if Caesars is able to capture all of the sports book revenue now being earned by ALL the casino’s in Nevada ($17M monthly), then it will only take 16 years to get a return on their investment. All I can figure is that the $17M monthly must be what the casino’s make AFTER William Hill gets their cut. But, as Mike points out, why did they outsource in the first place?

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  5. CanadianSting

    The Penn National Gaming – Barstool partnership has received a lot of interest amongst investors.
    The other casinos likely need to be in that space too when betting on sports opens up further.

    Reply
  6. fred weiss

    I think the main reason for the purchase is in anticipation of an increasing number of US states that will allow both live and online sports betting. Regarding the money involved, remember August 2020 had way fewer people visiting NV and considerably less sporting events to bet on. Look 2019 numbers for a more accurate idea of profitability.

    Reply

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