William Hill hoping to influence Nevada sports betting culture


betting-shop-snowLast week British sportsbook William Hill released its Interim Management Statement for the first quarter of the year. The results showed growth in abundance with group net revenue up 11%, retail net revenue increasing by 8% and the company’s online net revenue seeing a growth of 26%. But it was the sportsbook that raised eyebrows with how strongly it performed with net revenue increasing by 54 percent driven by a 62 percent increase in the amounts wagered by customers. Now William Hill is hoping to see the same type of impressive results with their acquisitions in Nevada.

For the most part, the restrictions they’ve piled on themselves with this deal will likely prevent them from the most rewarding markets in the US , Asia, China and the biggest global gaming markets. But at the very least, they can change the culture of sports betting in Las Vegas.

As the Liz Benston writes in an article in the Las Vegas Sun, local sports bettors have their fair share of gripes, “Nevada casinos are too conservative with their sports bets…The odds are poor. They won’t take big action. They don’t offer enough lines on games and ignore second-tier sports. Comps on sports bets are small to nonexistent.”

These are complaints that have been voiced from serious punters regarding Las Vegas for years. It’s one of the many reasons the biggest punters are doing their gambling in places like Macau and has made Singapore poised to overtake Las Vegas as the second largest gambling destination in the world behind Macau.

William Hill can bring a different flavour to Vegas. They are familiar with how to treat big-time punters and offer more favourable odds to Nevada sports bettors.

As Benston writes, “Cantor Gaming, a recent arrival in Nevada, has taken over sports books in several Las Vegas casinos on the profit potential of “in-running” betting, a European-style sports betting enabling gamblers to place bets seconds before individual plays throughout a game. Cantor welcomes large wagers and professional gamblers who attempt to use the company’s real-time trading technology to hedge bets like investment bankers. American Wagering offers similar technology, although Leroy’s typically caters to smaller bettors.”

Together with Cantor, William Hill could conceivably make Vegas more attractive to serious punters, but nowhere on the level of how they’re rolling in Asia.