ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Caesars Entertainment said Wednesday it is buying the British bookmaker William Hill for $3.7 billion in a deal aimed at binding its casinos ever closer to the fast-growing legal sports betting industry in the U.S.

Caesars said it is interested in the the company’s U.S. assets, and indicated it would seek to sell off William Hill’s assets in the United Kingdom and other countries.

“The opportunity to combine our land based-casinos, sports betting and online gaming in the U.S. is a truly exciting prospect,” Tom Reeg’s Caesars CEO said in a statement. “William Hill’s sports betting expertise will complement Caesars’ current offering, enabling the combined group to better serve our customers in the fast growing U.S. sports betting and online market.”

The private equity firm Apollo Global Management Inc. had also been interested in acquiring William Hill; it remains to be seen if the firm would be a potential purchaser for some of its European assets.

William Hill was founded in 1934 and grew to become a well-known name in the betting industry, particularly in England.

But its prospects darkened after 2018 when the British government sharply limited the amount that it and other bookmakers could charge on betting terminals, and William Hill turned its attention to the U.S., where legal sports betting was in its infancy following a Supreme Court ruling allowing individual states to legalize it in a case brought by New Jersey.

“The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders,” company chairman Roger Devlin said in a statement. “It recognizes the significant progress the William Hill Group has made over the last 18 months, as well as the risk and significant investment required to maximize the U.S. opportunity given intense competition

(Reuters) – U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment

agreed on Wednesday to buy British-based gambling group William Hill

for 2.9 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) to expand in the fast-growing U.S. sports-betting market.

Headquartered in London, William Hill was founded in 1934 as a postal and telephone betting service, and already has a U.S. partnership with the owner of Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace.

Following are some details on the latest addition to the Caesars brand:

** William Hill is Caesars’ exclusive sports book provider in the United States and Caesars has a 20% stake in the British company’s U.S. business

** After betting shops became legal in Britain in 1961, William Hill bought many businesses, driving major growth over the next decades, and currently operates 1,414 licensed betting offices in the country

** The UK accounts for roughly 61% of William Hill’s online revenues, while international markets make up 39%. While the COVID-19 pandemic has boosted online gambling, it has hurt the company overall

** William Hill has operated sports books in the United States, online and through retail outlets, since 2012, and is live in 13 U.S. states, with access to a total of 25 through its partnership with Caesars

** William Hill managed to offset regulatory pressure back at home amid a crackdown on gambling addictions, and has partnerships with CBS Sports and ESPN to cash in on the relaxation of U.S. sports betting rules

** William Hill has also been licensed to deliver online betting and gaming in Italy and Spain since 2011 and 2012 respectively, and a deal for Mr Green in 2019 expanded its European footprint

** Under the terms of the venture between Caesars and William Hill, Caesars has the right to terminate the partnership should William Hill be acquired by any parties mentioned in a

(Bloomberg) — Call it the DraftKings Inc. effect. Since the sports-betting operator announced plans to go public last December, its shares have soared nearly sixfold. Though the company loses money and had revenue of just $430 million or so last year, the business boasts a market value of $20 billion.

Loading...

Load Error

Everyone in gambling has eyed that run-up and pondered how to get in on the action, especially Tom Reeg, the canny chief executive officer of Caesars Entertainment Inc. In July, he suggested combining his online business with the U.S. sports-betting operations of William Hill Plc. Now, under pressure from Apollo Global Management, he’s offering $3.7 billion (2.9 billion pounds) for all of William Hill.

What’s behind all this is the explosion in sports betting since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2018 that states outside of Nevada could legalize such wagering if they choose. Now, 22 states and the District of Columbia allow sports betting. Revenue could rise eightfold to $8.4 billion annually by 2024, according to Vixio GamblingCompliance, a research firm.

While the legalization of sports triggered the excitement, the real prize is other forms on online wagering.

In New Jersey, the largest state to offer online sports and casino wagering, sportsbook operators learned they can quickly capture a big share of other online bets. The market leaders in the state are DraftKings and FanDuel, a division of Irish bookmaker Flutter Entertainment Plc.

Online gamblers bet more and play more, Golden Nugget said in a presentation earlier this year. Since the profit from slot machines is more predictable than football wagers, online casino betting is viewed as a lucrative new business opportunity. Both are expected to grow as more states, which have seen their tax revenue crimped by the coronavirus, look to increase revenue by legalizing more