The sports book “arms buildup” that has occurred during the last two years has finally erupted into a war.
Cantor Gaming has been grabbing sports book operations left and right, including M Resort, Hard Rock, Tropicana, Cosmopolitan and others. William Hill of the United Kingdom, meanwhile, has purchased three Nevada sports book operators: American Wagering, Cal Neva and Brandywine Bookmaking, controlling dozens of sports book operators across the state.
Both operators have cutting-edge technology. Cantor offers its “in-running” devices in its operations, which can also be used to play casino-style games. William Hill, through American Wagering, offers mobile sports betting within Nevada via smart phones.
The competition took another step last month when Cantor Gaming filed suit against Brandywine Gaming CEO Joe Asher, who introduced Cantor to the Nevada industry. Asher left Cantor in 2007 to form Brandywine Gaming. The Cantor suit alleges that Asher immediately set up sports betting operations in casinos operated at that time by the Navegante Group. The company claims that Asher had been negotiating with Navegante to install Cantor in those operations. Asher denies the charges, and the Cantor suit doesn’t clarify why it took four years to file the objection.
At the time of its purchase by William Hill—which has yet to be completed—Brandywine Bookmaking was operating the 16 Lucky’s Race and Sports Book locations in southern Nevada. The suit wants to freeze the $15.7 million purchase and direct an undetermined amount of money to Cantor.
The Cantor suit also alleges that Asher has two outstanding loans to the company that have yet to be repaid.