UK High Court Approves Caesars’ William Hill takeover

Following the approval of the Caesars acquisition of the British-based sportsbook, William Hill by the U.K. High Court, the deal between the two New Jersey sportsbooks has finally been completed. The final price? A cool $4 billion.

With the deal finalized, Caesars immediately released a statement announcing that the combined companies now offer sports betting (either land-based or online) in 18 jurisdictions across the United States, and are hoping to bump that number up to 20 by years end.

Caesars Entertainment’s Chief Executive Officer, Tom Reeg, spoke in glowing terms on the deal and its possibilities for the future;

“We are thrilled to complete the acquisition of William Hill, combining two of the premier operations in the sports betting and iGaming industries under one roof. We look forward to announcing future sports partnerships that will drive long-term growth. William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to serve our customers in the fast-growing US sports betting and online market,” he said.

Details of the William Hill – Caesars Joint Venture

Originally announced last September, the deal was first set a value of $3.7 billion until William Hill contested the terms of the deal in the High Court of its home country. Upon the UK court finding in William Hill’s favor, the deal finally went through at the higher $4 billion price tag.

With the deal finalized, William Hill is set to run online sports betting through Caesars’ market access in each legal state it operates in. In addition to the Caesars land-based retail sports in markets that do not yet have legalized online wagering.

William Hill’s assets in the United Kingdom and Europe will be sold off including international versions of the online sportsbook and the network of street-based retail stores, a ubiquitous feature of small towns and large cities across the U.K. In order maximize a number of the wider business propositions offered by William Hill, Caesars will be seeking suitable owners or partners who have similar approaches and objectives, and companies that will maintain a focus on the longer-term ambitions of those businesses.

William Hill loyalty members will automatically transition into the Caesars Rewards loyalty program, the largest casino/sportsbook loyalty program in the world today.

The deal has not been without collateral damage. Immediately upon the announcement of the deal, William Hill directors Roger Devlin, Mark Brooker, Jane Hanson, Robin Terrell, Lynne Weedall and Gordon Wilson all tendered their resignations and stepped down effective immediately from the William Hill Board.

William Hill Chief Executive Officer, Joe Asher, also stepped down and is expected to return to his roots in the horse racing betting industry.

Massive Growth expected for Caesars

As residents of the Garden State are fully aware, legal online sports betting is building at an astronomical rate across the nation. The legal U.S. sports betting market has been expanding into new markets at a rapid rate since 2018. 22 live and legal sports betting jurisdictions exist (both land-based and online) across the United States, and another six states where it is legal but not yet operational.

Leading legal sports betting analyst, Sara Sloane reinforced the Caesars-William Hill deal fits neatly into the growth environment for sports wagering;

“I think it’s a lot of synergy for Caesars, and it certainly makes sense for them to acquire William Hill given the exposure of sports betting across the country. (Sports betting) is definitely a huge growth area for the casino industry writ large. It would have been pretty bleak story during COVID had there not been the bright spot of (online) sports betting,” she said.

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