UK bookmaker William Hill has instructed its affiliate marketing partners to stop promoting “unlicensed” US-facing online gambling operators alongside promos for the company.
On Friday, affiliates that work with Hills reported receiving emails reminding them “not to promote William Hill alongside unlicensed US operators on any website.” The email asks affiliates to “immediately” remove Hills promos from those websites or else “we may have to close your account in line with our terms and conditions.”
Hills’ shot across the affiliate bow came just days after the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) issued an advisory bulletin to media outlets regarding “references to unauthorized sports wagering websites.” The DGE wants media to stop referencing internationally licensed online sportsbooks in articles about betting markets on upcoming sports and other events.
The DGE previously warned affiliates to ditch their divided loyalties and threatened reluctant affiliates with “appropriate civil or criminal sanctions” if they didn’t stop advising gamblers to visit sites not holding a DGE license. This warning even applied to New Jersey-approved affiliates who advised gamblers in states other than New Jersey to visit internationally licensed online gambling operators.
William Hill has B2B sports betting deals with a variety of New Jersey-licensed casino and racing operators, including both online and land-based sportsbooks for Monmouth Park racetrack, Ocean Casino Resort and Tropicana Atlantic City. All of these operations could be under threat if the DGE found Hills to be supporting affiliates who didn’t kowtow to state rules.
Last week, Hills issued a trading statement that underscored the importance of its US operations to the company’s future. While Hills’ UK and European ops struggled, the William Hill US division reported revenue rising 60%. Hills now has a presence in 10 betting-friendly US states and claims a 26% share of US betting market. That share got a further boost this month following Hill’s acquisition of CG Technology’s Las Vegas sportsbook assets.