Tag: Hill

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

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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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Big Shift In Vegas Sportsbook Operations As William Hill Buys CG Technology

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William Hill recently announced that they purchased the sportsbook assets of CG Technology. This deal is subject to certain closing conditions, including regulatory approval in Nevada and the Bahamas, where CG Technology consults the Atlantis on Paradise Island. Once approved, the international sportsbook operator will take over the leases at the following Las Vegas sportsbooks:

  • Cosmopolitan
  • The Venetian
  • The Palazzo (Lagasse’s Stadium)
  • Tropicana
  • Palms
  • Silverton

William Hill currently operates 113 sportsbooks in Nevada. However, these locations on and near the Vegas Strip are significant. The Venetian, Palazzo, and Cosmopolitan are a few of the luxury properties in Las Vegas. These will become the upper tier of William Hill’s Las Vegas retail locations in Nevada.

This could be the beginning of major changes to the landscape of sports betting in Las Vegas.

William Hill and Caesars

This agreement to purchase the leases from CG Technology only increases the number of William Hill sportsbooks in Nevada by six. However, it could be the beginning of a massive expansion of William Hill sportsbooks on the Vegas Strip.

Eldorado Resorts is currently awaiting regulatory approval on a merger with Caesars Entertainment. The two companies are expected to become one in the first half of 2020. This merger is significant for sports bettors since Eldorado owns a 20% take in William Hill thanks to a partnership announced earlier this year.

There hasn’t been an official announcement that William Hill will be taking over Caesars sportsbook operations in Nevada and around the country yet but the company is planning for it.

In a recent trading update, William Hill said: “We are preparing to bring operation of the existing Caesars sportsbooks into the William Hill network, subject to regulatory approval.”

Vegas Strip takeover for William Hill

This deal could make William Hill the dominant sportsbook operator on the Vegas Strip with 15 retail sportsbooks:

  • Bally’s
  • Caesars Palace
  • Casino Royale
  • Cosmopolitan
  • The Cromwell
  • Flamingo
  • Harrah’s
  • The Linq
  • The Palazzo
  • Paris Las Vegas
  • Planet Hollywood
  • Sahara
  • The Strat
  • Tropicana
  • The Venetian

In addition, William Hill will add Palms and Silverton to their roster of sportsbooks inside casinos just off the Vegas Strip. The next largest retail sportsbook operator on the Vegas Strip would be MGM Resorts with eight retail sportsbooks.

Earlier this year MGM Resorts sold Circus Circus to Phil Ruffin, owner of Treasure Island. The deal hasn’t closed yet but it’s possible they will offer the same sportsbook odds. There could be a twist here as William Hill just announced a partnership with Casino Miami in Florida which is owned by Phil Ruffin.

Perhaps the two will extend their partnership for Ruffin’s sportsbooks on the Vegas Strip. This is pure speculation but a Nevada deal for William Hill to operate Treasure Island and Circus Circus would give the company 17 retail sportsbooks on the Vegas Strip.

The possible sportsbook consolidation on the Vegas Strip is just one change that sportsbooks will see in the next couple of years.

New Las Vegas sportsbook partner for Virgin?

The CG Technology sportsbook at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is noticeably missing from the William Hill press release. The Hard Rock will close right after the Super Bowl in 2020. At this time the Hard Rock will be renovated and is scheduled to reopen as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in December 2020.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment will operate the casino for Virgin and hasn’t announced if they will continue the deal with CG Technology. It appears as though they won’t continue the lease with William Hill. Play USA reached out to Mohegan Gaming for a comment about the sportsbook earlier this year and was told an announcement would come in the future.

Las Vegas could see a new sportsbook operator when Virgin Las Vegas opens. The Mohegan Sun sportsbook in Pennsylvania is currently partnered with Unibet. There is no indication that this relationship will continue in Nevada but it’s one of the many possible partners for Virgin Las Vegas.

Resorts World Las Vegas sportsbook opening in 2021

Additionally, Resorts World Las Vegas announced that the new casino under construction across the street from Wynn Las Vegas is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. When Genting first announced the casino plans for Resorts World Las Vegas, it said it would operate its own sportsbook.

A lot has changed since the initial plans were revealed five years. The latest Resorts World Las Vegas plans call for a slightly different casino. The new race and sportsbook will be a 14,000 square-foot entertainment zone. Getting hasn’t announced if the plans to operate the sportsbook have changed.

Resorts World Catskills in New York has multiple sports betting partners. Resorts World could bring some new partners to Las Vegas when the casino and sportsbook open in the summer of 2021.

Penn National Gaming Las Vegas sportsbooks

Penn National Gaming (PNG) could change things up in Las Vegas. The national casino operator is currently shopping Tropicana. A new owner could bring a new sportsbook operator should they buy out the existing CG Technology/William Hill lease.

Additionally, PNG is currently taking over the operation of its sportsbooks in the states with legal sports betting. Their sportsbook at M Resort is currently operated by William Hill. Its possible PNG will decide to operate the sportsbook in the future.

MGM Resorts to swap systems

MGM Resorts currently has two sports betting platforms. PlayMGM in Nevada and BetMGM in New Jersey. The latter will be coming to Las Vegas next year.

BetMGM is a result of the MGM joint venture with GVC called Roar Digital. MGM Resorts retail sportsbooks shouldn’t see much of a change. Bettors will see a new mobile wagering platform and new odds in the casinos.

Will FanDuel finally come to Las Vegas?

FanDuel operates the sportsbooks for Boyd Gaming casinos around the country outside of Nevada. In addition to a new mobile sports betting platform, there are a number of potential retail sportsbook changes if Boyd decides to activate that partnership in Las Vegas.

The sportsbooks at some or all of the following Boyd Gaming properties could become FanDuel sportsbooks.

  • Aliante
  • California
  • Cannery
  • Eastside Cannery
  • Fremont
  • Gold Coast
  • Orleans
  • Sam’s Town
  • Suncoast

Where will DraftKings land?

DraftKings doesn’t have an obvious dancing partner in Las Vegas yet. While Caesars owns a small stake in the company, it doesn’t appear they will be the partner that ushers the DraftKings era in Nevada. Maybe the partnership with Penn National Gaming will help get things rolling in the future.

DraftKings has an office in Las Vegas and appears to be planning for the day they operate in Nevada. It might take some time but DraftKings should see the light of day in the Silver State sooner or later.

The sports betting landscape is just beginning to transform in Nevada. The next couple of years should see plenty of changes.

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