BUSINESS

William Hill leaves Greece; Sportingbet bid extension deadline fast approaching; Hills-owned Nevada firm up in front of NGCB

TAGs: GVC Holdings, Leroy's Sportsbook, Sportingbet, William Hill

British bookmaker william-hillWilliam Hill today confirmed they’re the latest firm to decide to pull out of the oft-criticized Greek market. Hills announced this morning they would be leaving the market following plans unveiled earlier this month by the country’s government to come down hard on any companies not in possession of a licence. That legislation comes into effect at midnight tonight and Hills’ announcement came via their Greek language site stating that it will cease to operate as of 11:59 p.m. The move comes after Betfair did exactly the same thing last week and they are continuing to work with the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) to try and achieve a fair market. The complaint remains that OPAP is receiving an unfair monopoly over the entire country’s market and other operators thus don’t have a fair chance to offer services to Greek customers.

Rumors are continuing to circulate the takeover of Sportingbet by a consortium made up of William Hill and GVC Holdings is on a knife-edge with the three likely to extend the takeover deadline for a second time. The mainstream media has been reporting for the past few days that Hills will try to renegotiate a deal for the company after a disappointing set of results released by Sportingbet last week. It’s likely that if we hear nothing by 5 p.m. GMT about a deadline extension the deal could go the way of the one that Ladbrokes tried to settle earlier this year and Sportingbet will start to really worry about what the future holds.

…Lastly, a Hills company is being investigated in Nevada for bets taken on the 2012 Kentucky Derby. Leroy’s Horse and Sports Place, which was acquired earlier this year as part of Hills’ drive for growth in the US state, stands accused by the Nevada Gaming Control Board of unauthorized acceptance of bets on the aforementioned race at certain locations. Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Chris Sieroty reports the violations are included in a complaint dated Nov. 29 and relate to the fact that Leroy’s was licenced to take bets on sports, but not on horses. A representative from the company’s US wing decline to comment and no hearing has yet been scheduled to look at the case.

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