British bookmaker William Hill is close to signing an agreement with US media giant CBS Sports as it looks to gain a greater market presence in the midst of the huge sports betting boom currently experienced in the United States.
William Hill and CBS Sports are in the final stage of talks according to the Sunday Times, and it is suspected that an announcement about their relationship is imminent.
Leaks first appeared in January, that the casino company and the media group engaged in discussions about a possible sports betting-focused relationship. Last month, though, it was also confirmed that talks eventually broke apart.
An agreement between William Hill and CBS Sports will provide an incentive for the gambling business to market its brand to an estimated 42 million people who visit the CBS Sports website on a monthly basis.
William Hill is the first overseas company to win a marketing agreement in the US to spearhead the expansion into sports betting. Last year, GVC Holdings and its US partner, casino operator MGM Resorts International, signed an agreement with Yahoo Sports which transformed the sports media platform into the two gambling companies’ official Digital Media Sports Partner and their BetMGM betting app.
Furthermore, Flutter Entertainment, the owner of the brands Paddy Power and Betfair, will also have a relationship with FOX Sports through its merger with The Stars Group.
Like many other UK bookmakers, William Hill is keen to capitalise on the lucrative US sports betting market and thus offset the losses it has suffered in its domestic market. A crackdown on the notorious fixed-odds betting terminals has seriously hit the competitiveness of the company.
For a long time William Hill has relied heavily on his retail betting network across the UK. Reducing the average FOBT stake from £ 100 to £ 2 has prompted the bookmaker to close 700 high street betting shops in the last few years.
The upcoming ban on credit card gaming in April is expected to further eat into the profits of UK-facing gambling operators.
Strengthening its presence in the US through a media alliance could be just what William Hill needs to improve its overall performance and financial position.
The company already dominates the Nevada betting market with a number of sportsbooks at key locations, but its agreement with casino operator Eldorado Resorts allowed it to expand its presence in other states where sports betting has become legal since the May 2018 SCOTUS ruling that overturned a long-standing federal ban on the activity.
The merger of Eldorado and competitor Caesars Entertainment Corp. could provide William Hill access to even more assets in multiple states, leading to it finally becoming, along with the recent alliance with CBS Sports, a force to be reckoned with across the USA.