Analysis

Caesars provides major scale to William Hill US

Caesars Entertainment’s rollout of its Rewards program across a further 55 casinos in the US demonstrates the company’s scale as it looks to plug in the William Hill sports-betting business.

The launch of Caesars’ loyalty program across a number of new casinos follows the successful completion of its merger with Eldorado Resorts.

William Hill meanwhile has agreed to be acquired by the US casino giant in a $2.9bn deal. It will see its UK and European businesses sold off as it becomes a purely US-focused company.

Wedge Index boost 

The deal, once approved by the regulators, will mean William Hill will become a Caesars brand and its weighting on the Wedge Index is likely to gain.

Both William Hill and Caesars are currently tier 2 brands on the index.

This is because the bulk of William Hill’s US activity is in Nevada while Caesars – although a major casino brand – is not a major destination for betting enthusiasts.

The arrival of a major brand like ‘Caesars Bet’ or ‘Caesars Sportsbook’ across a number of states will also mean extra competition, adding a further boost to the Wedge Index.

Each sportsbook operational in a state adds a certain amount of points to the state’s Wedge Index tally. Every operator is accorded points according to a weighting of consumer standing.

Once the Hills’ brand is integrated, Caesars’ scale will boost its weighting as a major US sportsbook and well-known brand.

The fact that the Caesars loyalty rollout has expanded the company’s reach to 18 new properties and grown its membership by 20% is another sign of the reach that a newly-integrated William Hill sports betting operation will have in the US.

Hills revenues returning to pre-COVID levels

In its third-quarter trading update William Hill said betting revenues were 9% lower than during the same period last year, but were also slowly returning to pre-COVID levels.

The results were also a major improvement on the first six months of the year. In that period the group’s revenues were 32% lower than in the first half of 2019 as live sports were cancelled and high-street shops closed.

Despite the welcome return of major sporting events, bookmakers have also struggled to price up matches that are played behind closed doors.

This is because the psychological advantage of home crowds can have on players and referees is negated and is leading to unpredictable results.

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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