William Hill PLC, Britain’s largest bookmaker, has won a license to operate in Nevada by the state’s Gaming Commission, which unanimously supported its acquisition of three sports book companies.
In 2011, William Hill agreed to pay $55 million for American Wagering Inc., which owns Leroy’s; Brandywine Bookmaking LLC, owner of Lucky’s; and Club Cal-Neva’s sports book business in Northern Nevada. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that the company will control 55 percent of the Nevada sports book market, less than 11 percent of total revenues and less than 1 percent of total gaming revenues.
“The plan is to consolidate the businesses to make it a financially viable business,” James Henderson, director of retail operations at William Hill, told the five-member commission.
The three race and sports book operations will be operated under the William Hill brand. Henderson said the company sees Nevada as an “entry point to other opportunities in the U.S.”
Ralph Topping, CEO of William Hill, said his company will operate 159 locations statewide, including 83 wagering kiosks.
Topping said William Hill will invest about $3 million in technology at its properties and offer so-called “in-play” wagering on sporting events.