WillHill Owned By Caesars Entertainment

‘Caesars Entertainment WillHill Takeover Boosted by US Antitrust Laws!’ (Image Source: images.unsplash.com)

Another year has gone by and another hurdle in the William Hill take over deal overcome for US-run online casino entity Caesars Entertainment.

The $3.7 billion deal already has shareholder approval, which happened back in mid-November, and Caesars Entertainment confirmed that by the end of Q1 2021 the takeover should be complete. However, nothing is ever a given in any industry, and Caesars still have several regulatory milestones to overcome in both the USA and the UK.

Caesars is still under review in the UK, Europe, and in the US. The key milestone to overcome in the US is the ‘HSR Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976’ and yesterday the legislative committee in charge of making the final decisions on the matter finally cleared Caesars Entertainment to continue pursuing new licenses for its William Hill operations.

For the live casino world, this deal is unlikely to affect the Evolution William Hill partnership as Evolution is already in cahoots with Caesars Entertainment in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and possibly Michigan too. However, there is a possibility that Caesars newfound UK relations could mean a deal with UK firms such as Playtech Live is a possibility.

Right now, William Hill deals with Evolution exclusively in both the UK and USA. However, with Pragmatic Play pushing hard into the live casino market, Playtech Live, BetConstruct, and the recent notable award picked up by BetGamesTV making it a contender in the live dealer gaming market, later in the year, we may see new live casino games from one of these live dealer platforms added to William Hill casinos globally.

For now, Caesars Entertainment’s only relationship with a live dealer studio is its agreement with Evolution which also gives the firm’s New Jersey operations access to Ezugi games in the US. Currently, the Ezugi US live dealer studio operates out of the Golden Nugget Casino which one of Caesars Atlantic City Casino competitor land-based operations which is the.

Licensing agreements approved & still to come

Despite the good news regarding the Antitrust approval, there is still some way to go before Caesars fully wraps up the deal for 100% ownership of William Hill. For time being, Caesars Entertainment officially owns only 20% of William Hill’s operations with the majority of funds for the remaining 80% likely in Escrow and earmarked for release as and when the various business legislative, government organisations, casino, and sports betting licensing bodies across the globe approve Caesars Entertainment.

For sports betting the Mississippi Gaming Commission already approved Caesars and the firm already has its West Virginia Lottery license. However, to take over the William Hill brand in Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, there is still some time before these bodies issue a license. None of these 3 licensing bodies are much of a concern, however, as Caesars Entertainment already deals with these regulatory bodies daily via its existing operations in each of these 3 states.

That said, there is still the small matter of the English High Court and multiple administrative and post-closing approvals from multiple US regulatory and government bodies, and numerous other states to conquer where William Hill already has a presence which is mainly in a sports betting capacity.

A busy year for Caesars Entertainment comes to a close

It was not a profitable year for Caesars Entertainment. The firm has casinos in 13 US states and another casino named Caesars Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Across these regions, there are over 50 land-based casinos across North America and many of these have opened and closed sporadically, and while they were open, they saw limited walk-in traffic as tourists are reluctant to travel to the US while domestic gamblers are also wary of visiting land-based casinos.

As a result, the firm reported losses of $926 million for Q3 of 2020. It makes perfect sense as to why Caesars Entertainment would want to make a strategic move into European markets where online sports betting and online gambling markets are far more accessible, more flexible, and have a larger target market compared to the UK. The firm can now grow its ‘online’ operations alongside its land-based operations which should return to profitable ways mid-2021 should vaccines prove helpful in restarting the world travel engine!

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