William Hill is reportedly looking to merge its its U.S. business with the online casino operations of long time partner Caesars Entertainment .
American depositary receipts of the London bookmaker at last check were up 1.2% to $9.36, while Caesars shares were 2.4% higher at $46.91.
According to a Bloomberg news report, William Hill US CEO Joe Asher has confirmed that discussions with Caesars are ongoing about combining their respective operations. Caesars already owns 20% of William Hill US as part of a deal that the latter signed a couple of years ago with Eldorado Resorts. Eldorado and Caesars also completed a merger of their own in July 2020.
In an interview about a potential online merger, Asher said: “There’s a lot of opportunity in there, and we think that we’ve got some really powerful assets in this space, so obviously it’s an ongoing subject of discussion.”
Caesars previously estimated that combining the two operations could generate revenue of $700m in 2021. Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said of the possibility: “William Hill is our partner solely on sports betting. You’d be gathering all our mobile assets, both sports and online. That would be ideal.”
According to a Wolfe Research analyst, Jared Shojaian, the merger could be worth upwards of $7bn.
William Hill U.S. Chief Executive Joe Asher told Bloomberg the company is in discussions with Caesars about combining their sports-betting and online-gaming businesses.
Caesars already owned 20% of William Hill’s U.S. arm under in a deal signed two years ago with Eldorado Resorts, which completed its $17 billion purchase of Caesars in July.
William Hill recently completed its purchase of CG Technology, the sports-betting outfit spun off from Cantor Fitzgerald LP.
William Hill in September 2018 acquired exclusive rights to run the sports-betting operations at Eldorado’s casinos.
Eldorado’s takeover of Caesars in July extended their deal to iconic properties like Caesars Palace. About 15 additional locations should be added in coming weeks, including the Horseshoe in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the Harrah’s in Atlantic City.
They would bring William Hill’s total to 170 retail locations in 13 states, the company said.
In February, William Hill and Viacom CBS announced an agreement where the media giant’s CBS Sports unit gained access to the sports book operator’s betting odds and other gambling data.
William Hill recently introduced online casino betting in New Jersey.
Online gaming has come on strong during the coronavirus pandemic as sports betting has struggled and many colleges have cancelled football.
Through July, online casino betting produced $510 million in revenue in New Jersey, for example, more three times that of sports betting at $138 million, Bloomberg reported.