William Hill, the United Kingdom’s largest bookmaker, announced today that William Hill PLC and a number of its senior managers were unanimously granted non-restricted gaming licenses by the Nevada Gaming Commission at a meeting held in Las Vegas on Thursday. A non-restricted license is the highest tier of license in Nevada.
The granting of the licenses to the FTSE-listed group breaks new ground in the history of the 78-year-old organization, which becomes the first British bookmaker to be licensed for sports wagering in the USA.
William Hill will now complete the acquisition of three land-based sports betting businesses that operate in Nevada and Delaware. In the spring of 2011, William Hill entered into binding agreements to acquire American Wagering, Inc., Brandywine Bookmaking LLC (Brandywine) and the Club Cal Neva Satellite Race and Sports book Division (Cal Neva) for approximately $49m. Completion of these acquisitions, which was conditional upon William Hill being licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission, is expected to take place before the end of the month, with integration occurring during the summer.
Ralph Topping, Chief Executive of William Hill, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded a license by the Nevada Gaming Commission. A Nevada gaming license is recognized around the world as a significant regulatory seal of approval and we are proud to have earned it. We are now able to bring together these three businesses to create a leading position in the US sports betting market, combining our brand and product range with AWI, Brandywine and Cal Neva’s extensive footprint, strong local relationships and trusted service. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to grow a leadership position in the U.S. gaming industry.”
The newly-formed board of William Hill U.S. will see Vic Salerno of American Wagering appointed as Chairman. Brandywine Bookmaking’s Joe Asher takes the role as Chief Executive Officer of William Hill US, with Club Cal Neva’s Jeff Siri becoming Chief Operating Officer.
About William Hill PLC
William Hill, The Home of Betting, is one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies, employing around 16,000 people. Founded in 1934, it is now the UK’s largest bookmaker with over 2,370 licensed betting offices that provide betting opportunities on a wide range of sporting and non-sporting events, gaming on machines and numbers-based products including lotteries. William Hill Online (www.williamhill.com) is one of Europe’s leading online betting and gaming businesses, providing customers with the opportunity to access William Hill’s products online, through their mobile, by telephone and by text services. William Hill PLC is listed on the London Stock Exchange and generates revenues of over $1.7bn a year.
About AWI, Brandywine and Cal Neva
AWI is the longest-standing sports book operator in the State of Nevada, having been established through the Leroy’s brand in 1978. Its proprietary technology platform is currently licensed by major casino operators in Nevada. William Hill is acquiring AWI for $0.90 per share.
Brandywine, which is privately owned, operates 17 sports books across Nevada. It is also the exclusive risk manager for the Delaware Sports Lottery, which it operates in partnership with Scientific Games, and for the Marriott in St. Kitts in partnership with Sportech.
The Cal Neva Sports Book Division is part of the Sierra Development Company, a privately owned casino and hotel business. Established in 1989, it operates 31 sports books in Nevada.
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