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02 July

Caesars Discussed $7.6 Billion Merger with William Hill

July 02, 2019

British bookmaker William Hill and American operator Caesars Entertainment explored the possibility of merging last fall, planning to establish a $7.6 billion (£6 billion) gambling force in the US market.

William Hill entered the US gambling market in 2012 by launching their business in Nevada. They operate under the brand name William Hill US.

On June 2, British newspaper The Sunday Times reported that the companies had been in detailed talks about the distribution of cash and shares. According to sources familiar with the potential takeover, the negotiations collapsed over price. 

With the US Supreme Court removing the prohibition on sports betting in May 2018, it’s not surprising to see British bookmakers entering the American market.

William Hill in UK

William Hill is one of the key operators in the UK and have been through a rough patch recently, battling declining profitability and intense competition in the market.

Their shares (LSE: WMH) have taken a nosedive following a pre-tax loss of $917 million (£722 million) last year, even though they generated a $186 million (£146.5 million) profit in 2017.

In the UK, gambling operators are also being confronted with a new government restriction: decreasing the maximum bet of gaming machines from $127 (£100) to $2.54 (£2).

The decision to not go along with the merger is expected to impact the industry in such a way that job losses and closure of betting venues are likely.

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