William Hill will reportedly be up and running in Nevada before the year is out if the words of the Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) ring true. The head of the commission, Randolph Townsend, told a gaming workshop at UNLV’s William S. Boyd’s School of Law, “I expect them to be in full operation in Nevada in the next couple of months.”
The British company’s presence in Nevada began earlier this year when they signed away deals to acquire American Wagering Inc (AWI), the Cal Neva Sportsbook Division and Brandywine Bookmaking. It meant they rose to the top of the land-based sports betting market in the state to compete alongside Cantor Gaming. The latter is still smarting at the deal involving one of their former members of staff and has even taken out a lawsuit against former executive Joseph Asher for his part in the deal.
Hills’ move into Nevada is a puzzling one as pressing forward in this state means that they have to gain approval of the NGC. It’s a move that may limit them in terms of Asian expansion as the regulations set out by the NGC are not the most lenient. This is a company that held a lucrative UK license before they decided to head over to Sin City for some fun and frolics. Therefore in gaining approval in Nevada they are essentially making it a lot harder to expand into the gambling industry’s fastest growing destination.
The company may argue that sports’ betting in any US state is an opportunity they can’t pass up. Outside of Nevada it’s unlikely that sports betting will be legalized in our lifetime and the deal is an ostentatious one to say the least.
One advantage that still remains is that they can use the approval to reshape the oft-criticized sports betting industry in the state and bring sports bettors more options than are currently on the table. That in itself will make Ralph Topping smile as he tucks into his third daily helping of Haggis this afternoon.