Tag: CEO

William Hill CEO Says He Anticipates Return To Normalcy In Due Time

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The US gambling industry finds itself in uncharted territory. All professional and collegiate sports are on hiatus. Every single commercial casino (and most tribal properties) around the country has closed, causing a wave of unemployed workers. When historians look back at these few months a decade from now, they will refer to it as a period of uncertainty.

But despite this dark cloud hovering over the industry, there are those, like William Hill CEO Joe Asher, who remain optimistic and anticipate a return to normalcy in due time.

In the past few months, Asher has consistently expressed his firm position that the industry will bounce back — with the divine factor being patience. In an interview with PlayUSA, he spoke on this and a number of different gaming topics.

Outlook on sports betting

“Over time, I don’t have any doubt gaming comes back to where it was. I don’t think this is a long term structural issue for the industry,” Asher said to PlayUSA. “I just think it’s going to take us a while, broadly speaking, to get back where we were just even a month ago.”

In its wake, the coronavirus pandemic has left the industry struggling to stay afloat. Some sports betting operators now allow customers to bet on things like table tennis, sumo wrestling, and esports.

At William Hill sportsbooks, there has been a shift to betting on the NFL Draft. Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is priced at -280 with 3.5 odds to be taken in the top three. Tagoviloa is projected to be a first-round pick and has received 16% of the total number of tickets. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is the next highest at 7%.

When asked about all the “niche” sports and prop bets now available, Asher said they don’t move the needle from a revenue perspective, but it provides a distraction from the “doom and gloom” on television.

“Obviously, you start trying to figure out what you can come up with to let people bet on. The important thing is, we don’t make any money on this overall because the cost to offer is more than the revenue from it,” he said.

Asher said, giving customers something to wager on provides a distraction allowing people, even if briefly, to focus on something else for a change.

“I think sports betting will come back pretty strongly. When you talk about gaming, there are different aspects. I think this is going to be a tough year, at least in Las Vegas, because it’s going to be a while before you see the convention business resume and people getting on airplanes to fly out here. But I think sports betting will come back pretty quickly once the games get going again,” Asher said.

Casinos proceeding with caution

One of the burning questions industry executives, employees, and customers have been pondering is: how and when will casinos reopen to the public?

Although specifics on how and when the industry will open are not yet available, Asher said it most certainly will not be “flip the switch,” and everything is back to normal.

“Some of this will be determined by what happens with the various legislative efforts around the country. Sports will bounce back perhaps a little quicker. But right now, if you own multiple casinos in a particular market, you have to be thinking several things,” Asher said.

In his assessment, Asher said operators must determine if they should open all properties at once or should they consolidate operations in the short term. But most importantly, he said at the top of the list is how you accomplish all this safely.

“Nobody wants to be in a situation where you, your employees, or your customers, are at risk. Everybody will have to be comfortable from a safety perspective,” he said. “From the outset, I’ve been saying we have a public health crisis and a business crisis going on in the country. There is only so much you can do on the business side until you solve the public health issue. That has to be addressed first.”

It’s going to be an enormous task to ensure 649,000 gaming employees spread across 973 casinos return to work safely. It will be another to recoup the $43.5 billion in economic activity that most certainly will be lost.

“Our industry is a small portion of the economy,” Asher said. “Safety, to me, is going to drive the timing and scope of the business recovery. That continues to be paramount. You must make sure you are protecting workers who have been displaced,” he said.

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William Hill CEO Says He Anticipates Return To Normalcy In Due Time

[ad_1]

The US gambling industry finds itself in uncharted territory. All professional and collegiate sports are on hiatus. Every single commercial casino (and most tribal properties) around the country has closed, causing a wave of unemployed workers. When historians look back at these few months a decade from now, they will refer to it as a period of uncertainty.

But despite this dark cloud hovering over the industry, there are those, like William Hill CEO Joe Asher, who remain optimistic and anticipate a return to normalcy in due time.

In the past few months, Asher has consistently expressed his firm position that the industry will bounce back — with the divine factor being patience. In an interview with PlayUSA, he spoke on this and a number of different gaming topics.

Outlook on sports betting

“Over time, I don’t have any doubt gaming comes back to where it was. I don’t think this is a long term structural issue for the industry,” Asher said to PlayUSA. “I just think it’s going to take us a while, broadly speaking, to get back where we were just even a month ago.”

In its wake, the coronavirus pandemic has left the industry struggling to stay afloat. Some sports betting operators now allow customers to bet on things like table tennis, sumo wrestling, and esports.

At William Hill sportsbooks, there has been a shift to betting on the NFL Draft. Former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is priced at -280 with 3.5 odds to be taken in the top three. Tagoviloa is projected to be a first-round pick and has received 16% of the total number of tickets. Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert is the next highest at 7%.

When asked about all the “niche” sports and prop bets now available, Asher said they don’t move the needle from a revenue perspective, but it provides a distraction from the “doom and gloom” on television.

“Obviously, you start trying to figure out what you can come up with to let people bet on. The important thing is, we don’t make any money on this overall because the cost to offer is more than the revenue from it,” he said.

Asher said, giving customers something to wager on provides a distraction allowing people, even if briefly, to focus on something else for a change.

“I think sports betting will come back pretty strongly. When you talk about gaming, there are different aspects. I think this is going to be a tough year, at least in Las Vegas, because it’s going to be a while before you see the convention business resume and people getting on airplanes to fly out here. But I think sports betting will come back pretty quickly once the games get going again,” Asher said.

Casinos proceeding with caution

One of the burning questions industry executives, employees, and customers have been pondering is: how and when will casinos reopen to the public?

Although specifics on how and when the industry will open are not yet available, Asher said it most certainly will not be “flip the switch,” and everything is back to normal.

“Some of this will be determined by what happens with the various legislative efforts around the country. Sports will bounce back perhaps a little quicker. But right now, if you own multiple casinos in a particular market, you have to be thinking several things,” Asher said.

In his assessment, Asher said operators must determine if they should open all properties at once or should they consolidate operations in the short term. But most importantly, he said at the top of the list is how you accomplish all this safely.

“Nobody wants to be in a situation where you, your employees, or your customers, are at risk. Everybody will have to be comfortable from a safety perspective,” he said. “From the outset, I’ve been saying we have a public health crisis and a business crisis going on in the country. There is only so much you can do on the business side until you solve the public health issue. That has to be addressed first.”

It’s going to be an enormous task to ensure 649,000 gaming employees spread across 973 casinos return to work safely. It will be another to recoup the $43.5 billion in economic activity that most certainly will be lost.

“Our industry is a small portion of the economy,” Asher said. “Safety, to me, is going to drive the timing and scope of the business recovery. That continues to be paramount. You must make sure you are protecting workers who have been displaced,” he said.

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Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen weighs in on US sports betting markets

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When Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, talks about the company’s expanding casino portfolio, sports betting is bound to come up.

With 21 states with live sports betting bills, the topic is hard to ignore. Not to mention the 14 legal states and the seven (including Washington, DC) others where launch is pending.

PlayUSA caught up with Allen to talk sports wagering. 

Seeing how far the industry continues to grow since the demise of PASPA comes as no surprise to him. 

“Well, I think everyone has literally known for decades. People have been talking about an expansion of legalizing sports betting for at least 20, 25 years,” Allen said. “I don’t think there is any secret. I believe it will do extremely well.” 

Hard Rock + regulated sports betting

Allen visited Hard Rock Atlantic City in January for a town hall meeting with its employees. The multimedia presentation highlighted Hard Rock casino properties from around the world. 

The $400 million Hard Rock Casino and Hotel opening in Gary, IN, is among those coming soon.

Besides being a joint venture with Spectacle Entertainment, it provides an entry point into the Indiana sports betting market. 

The plans include opening a retail sportsbook, too.

Furthermore, Hard Rock will extend its online business beyond New Jersey and Iowa

The Biloxi, MI, location has a retail operation, but mobile sports wagering legislation has yet to be approved in the state. 

Allen said that Hard Rock is hopeful that Ohio reaches a conclusion, too, and for a good reason. Hard Rock owns the Jack Cincinnati Casino.

But no matter which Hard Rock property, he said, much like in New Jersey, “It becomes an added form of entertainment that we all know has been going on for generations.”

“You can’t go to a local bar or join an office pool or whatever it is that doesn’t have very out, open, front and center of people making a bet on a game, whether it’s fun or someone seriously trying to create that environment,” said Allen.

“We think the more it becomes legalized and regulated, the better it is. Just candidly, it’s happening anyway, so (we) might as well make it as strong of a product and regulate it as a product in the right way as possible.”

Sports betting destinations

As more states launch sports betting, the majority will likely never come close to reaching the level of Las Vegas. Sure, the revenue and handle numbers may be strong throughout the US, but the Silver State has several more decades of experience. 

The American Gaming Association reported that a record $13 billion was legally wagered in the US last year. And, outside of New Jersey, there is a wide margin between Nevada and other states: 

  1. Nevada: $5.3 billion 
  2. New Jersey: $4.6 billion
  3. Pennsylvania: $1.5 billion
  4. Indiana: $436 million
  5. Mississippi: $369 million
  6. Rhode Island: $246 million
  7. West Virginia: $226 million
  8. Iowa: $212 million

Hard Rock offers sports betting in three of the states, with a fourth on the horizon. 

One thing that separates Nevada from the rest of the pack is the fact that it’s a destination for NFL betting and March Madness wagering. Bettors will book a long weekend in Vegas when there is a major sporting event on the calendar.

Super Bowl betting beyond Vegas 

For this year’s Super Bowl, the Atlantic City property hosted a party inside of Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena. It even included opening temporary betting windows in the concessions area. Wagering via the sportsbook app was encouraged, too. 

As a whole, NJ bettors wagered over $54 million on the big game. 

But weather-wise, the Jersey Shore is not exactly a go-to destination in early February. However, Allen says he wouldn’t be surprised to see other states starting to benefit when major sports betting events come around. 

“I think Las Vegas has always had the excitement because it was the only game in town.”  

Allen continued, “I think as it becomes legalized in other jurisdictions, it will start to diminish the excitement of going to Las Vegas because, frankly, people will be able to do it in their own jurisdiction.” 

New Jersey and sports betting integrity 

There is no denying the fact that New Jersey has set the bar when it comes to sports betting regulations.

The mobile sports betting market currently includes 17 apps, one of which is the Hard Rock-branded appUnibet and Bet365 also operate under its license.

It’s the online success that puts the Garden State in a league of its own. For January, handle came in at $540.1 million (of which $471.1 million was wagered via mobile devices). It’s a 40% year-over-year increase.

Allen refers to the Garden State regulatory environment as “world class.”

“I think New Jersey’s done an excellent job, understanding the integrity of the industry, understanding what is needed from a regulatory mindset, but also very respective and working with the operators to create something that becomes an amenity that’s very entertaining.”

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Hard Rock CEO Jim Allen weighs in on US sports betting markets

[ad_1]

When Jim Allen, CEO of Hard Rock International, talks about the company’s expanding casino portfolio, sports betting is bound to come up.

With 21 states with live sports betting bills, the topic is hard to ignore. Not to mention the 14 legal states and the seven (including Washington, DC) others where launch is pending.

PlayUSA caught up with Allen to talk sports wagering. 

Seeing how far the industry continues to grow since the demise of PASPA comes as no surprise to him. 

“Well, I think everyone has literally known for decades. People have been talking about an expansion of legalizing sports betting for at least 20, 25 years,” Allen said. “I don’t think there is any secret. I believe it will do extremely well.” 

Hard Rock + regulated sports betting

Allen visited Hard Rock Atlantic City in January for a town hall meeting with its employees. The multimedia presentation highlighted Hard Rock casino properties from around the world. 

The $400 million Hard Rock Casino and Hotel opening in Gary, IN, is among those coming soon.

Besides being a joint venture with Spectacle Entertainment, it provides an entry point into the Indiana sports betting market. 

The plans include opening a retail sportsbook, too.

Furthermore, Hard Rock will extend its online business beyond New Jersey and Iowa

The Biloxi, MI, location has a retail operation, but mobile sports wagering legislation has yet to be approved in the state. 

Allen said that Hard Rock is hopeful that Ohio reaches a conclusion, too, and for a good reason. Hard Rock owns the Jack Cincinnati Casino.

But no matter which Hard Rock property, he said, much like in New Jersey, “It becomes an added form of entertainment that we all know has been going on for generations.”

“You can’t go to a local bar or join an office pool or whatever it is that doesn’t have very out, open, front and center of people making a bet on a game, whether it’s fun or someone seriously trying to create that environment,” said Allen.

“We think the more it becomes legalized and regulated, the better it is. Just candidly, it’s happening anyway, so (we) might as well make it as strong of a product and regulate it as a product in the right way as possible.”

Sports betting destinations

As more states launch sports betting, the majority will likely never come close to reaching the level of Las Vegas. Sure, the revenue and handle numbers may be strong throughout the US, but the Silver State has several more decades of experience. 

The American Gaming Association reported that a record $13 billion was legally wagered in the US last year. And, outside of New Jersey, there is a wide margin between Nevada and other states: 

  1. Nevada: $5.3 billion 
  2. New Jersey: $4.6 billion
  3. Pennsylvania: $1.5 billion
  4. Indiana: $436 million
  5. Mississippi: $369 million
  6. Rhode Island: $246 million
  7. West Virginia: $226 million
  8. Iowa: $212 million

Hard Rock offers sports betting in three of the states, with a fourth on the horizon. 

One thing that separates Nevada from the rest of the pack is the fact that it’s a destination for NFL betting and March Madness wagering. Bettors will book a long weekend in Vegas when there is a major sporting event on the calendar.

Super Bowl betting beyond Vegas 

For this year’s Super Bowl, the Atlantic City property hosted a party inside of Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena. It even included opening temporary betting windows in the concessions area. Wagering via the sportsbook app was encouraged, too. 

As a whole, NJ bettors wagered over $54 million on the big game. 

But weather-wise, the Jersey Shore is not exactly a go-to destination in early February. However, Allen says he wouldn’t be surprised to see other states starting to benefit when major sports betting events come around. 

“I think Las Vegas has always had the excitement because it was the only game in town.”  

Allen continued, “I think as it becomes legalized in other jurisdictions, it will start to diminish the excitement of going to Las Vegas because, frankly, people will be able to do it in their own jurisdiction.” 

New Jersey and sports betting integrity 

There is no denying the fact that New Jersey has set the bar when it comes to sports betting regulations.

The mobile sports betting market currently includes 17 apps, one of which is the Hard Rock-branded appUnibet and Bet365 also operate under its license.

It’s the online success that puts the Garden State in a league of its own. For January, handle came in at $540.1 million (of which $471.1 million was wagered via mobile devices). It’s a 40% year-over-year increase.

Allen refers to the Garden State regulatory environment as “world class.”

“I think New Jersey’s done an excellent job, understanding the integrity of the industry, understanding what is needed from a regulatory mindset, but also very respective and working with the operators to create something that becomes an amenity that’s very entertaining.”

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Categories: Gambling News

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