William Hill to open sports lounge at New Jersey Devils arena


william-hill-new-jersey-devils-sports-betting-lounge-prudential-centerBookmaker William Hill has signed a deal with the National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils to open a ‘sports lounge’ at the team’s home arena.

On Thursday, William Hill US announced a ‘multi-year’ partnership that will see the addition of a William Hill Sports Lounge to the concourse of the Devils’ Prudential Center arena in Newark. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed and the parties didn’t announce an official launch date, although the lounge is expected to open in a few weeks.

The lounge will strongly resemble a traditional casino sportsbook – lots of TVs airing games and boards displaying odds on those games – but won’t feature any actual betting windows. However, Hills reps will ably assist customers through the process of downloading Hills’ mobile betting app, the use of which will be permitted, so same difference.

Hills will also enjoy plenty of branding opportunities within view of Devils fans seated in the stands and/or watching at home on television. The lounge will be open for all arena events, not just Devils games.

Media reports from last month indicated that the Devils expected to reap a $5m windfall from gambling-related sponsorship deals in the current NHL season. The Devils already have a relationship with the New Jersey-licensed operations of GVC Holdings’ PartyPoker brand dating back to 2014.

The Devils deal marks the second NHL tie-up for Hills, who announced an official betting partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights in September. So far, New Jersey and Nevada are the only US states that meet the dual criteria of hosting an NHL franchise and allowing legal wagering.

However, Hills is presumably already negotiating with Pennsylvania’s two teams ahead of that state’s launch of legal betting. Illinois and the District of Columbia have also taken steps to join the betting brigade, so just hold on a little longer, Blackhawks and Caps fans.

A recent survey found that the NHL could benefit from an additional $216m in annual revenue should wagering be legalized across the US of A, $35m of which would come via sponsorship.

Hills added another New Jersey betting feather to its cap on Thursday via the launch of a land-based sportsbook at Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino. In September, Hills inked a 25-year betting partnership with Eldorado Resorts, which acquired the Trop in April via its $1.85b deal for Tropicana Entertainment.