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William Hill moves closer to Nevada operating license

Industry Sector

Leisure

Published

8 June 2012

Author

Paul Chapman

Type of News

General

The largest bookmaker across Britain, William Hill, has moved somewhat closer to winning a licence to operate in Nevada after the state's Gaming Control Board backed its application.

The final licensing obstacle occurs on June 21, when William Hill executives will appear in front of the Nevada Gaming Commission, William Hill said in a statement on Friday.

Last year saw William Hill agree to buy three US businesses: American Wagering Inc, Brandywine and Cal Neva Sportsbook, for just over $50 million, but without the license will not be able to complete the deals. These three businesses operate outlets across Nevada serving casinos with the opportunity to bet on sporting events.

In what was a demanding three hour examination, William Hill told the Gaming Control Board that its online business is an "engine of growth." The company gave regulators a thorough presentation of its web services, which also include poker and other casino games.

Ralph Topping, Chief Executive for William Hill, said, "We are extremely pleased to have the Nevada Gaming Control Board's recommendation for licensing. We now look forward to our hearing with the Gaming Commission in two weeks' time. Nevada regulators have been extremely fair and detailed in their assessment of our entry into the state, and we are grateful for their decision today."

With Nevada expected to license online poker operations very soon, a number of other states may decide to follow suite. Nonetheless, online sports betting is to remain an unlawful activity.

William Hill generated more than 90 percent of its net revenues in Britain last year but is seeking to expand internationally into regulated markets. It is one of a number of British companies granted licences for online gaming in Spain this month.

For more information on the US gambling market, see the latest research: US Gambling Market

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