Corporate

William Hill US partners with Eldorado Resorts

Extends William Hill US’ leadership in sports betting through access to Eldorado’s leading regional casino portfolio and customer base of 23 million people

William Hill becomes Eldorado’s exclusive partner in provision of digital and land-based sports betting and online gaming

Closely aligned partnership to deliver on US opportunity, with William Hill retaining control and strategic flexibility

William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH) today announces that William Hill US (“William Hill”) and Eldorado Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ: ERI) have entered into a nationwide partnership for digital and land-based sports betting and online gaming in the United States.

The partnership combines the leading sports betting company in the US, William Hill, with the extensive market access of Eldorado – a major casino group with 21 properties across 11 states and a customer base of 23 million people. Eldorado’s pending acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment Inc. will further extend its reach to 26 properties in 13 states on completion which is expected in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Under the terms of the agreement William Hill becomes Eldorado’s exclusive partner in the provision of digital and land-based sports betting services as well as online gaming. As a result, William Hill’s reach now extends to 13 states where sports betting is either legal or sports betting bills are tabled. 

Within weeks the partners will open William Hill sportsbooks in five properties across three states – The Tropicana in Atlantic City, New Jersey; The Mountaineer Casino Racetrack and Resort in West Virginia and three casinos in Mississippi – The Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Isle of Capri in Lula and Tropicana Casino in Greenville. Sportsbooks in additional casinos/states as well as digital betting and gaming services will be launched in the months ahead subject to the legislation in each state.

William Hill PLC and Eldorado, who have partnered since 2012 in Nevada, are strongly aligned to grow William Hill US with the company currently involved in discussions with a number of potential partners.

Commenting on the agreement Philip Bowcock, William Hill PLC Chief Executive Officer, said: “Partnering with Eldorado gives William Hill access to one of the largest and most attractive casino footprints with 23 million customers across multiple states. This partnership provides extensive cross sell and profit growth opportunities to both parties. Together, we are positioned to capture the evolving US opportunity – starting with land-based sports betting and extending to digital sports betting and, in some states, online gaming.”

Gary Carano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado Inc., commented: “Having worked with the company since 2012, we believe William Hill represents the gold standard in global sports betting and we are confident that our expanded partnership will be successful. We look forward to bringing the excitement of sports betting to customers across our growing platform of leading casino resorts, creating value for all shareholders.”

Key features of the partnership 

  • William Hill becomes Eldorado’s exclusive partner for digital and retail sports betting. The agreement also covers the provision of online casino.
  • The partnership extends the reach of William Hill US and covers Eldorado’s 26 properties across 131 states, plus any new properties it may acquire or develop.
  • William Hill US retains 80% of the enhanced business, retaining strategic flexibility with both parties incentivised to grow digital and land-based sports betting in the US.
  • Eldorado receives $50m of stock in William Hill PLC (equivalent to circa 1.6% of its market capitalisation), subject to a 3-5 year lock up; a 20% stake in William Hill US and a share of profits attributable to its licences, closely aligning the two partners’ interests.
  • Investment in sportsbooks in five existing casino properties set to begin imminently with capital expenditure jointly split between the partners.
  • The agreement is for an initial 25-year term.

The partnership follows the Supreme Court decision in May that declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional. Since then William Hill, which currently operates 108 race and sports books in Nevada and the state’s leading mobile sports betting app has achieved the widest footprint of any sports betting operator in the US. It is now:

  • Operating in New Jersey at Monmouth Park Racetrack, where it took the first legal bet in that state in June 2018, and at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City;
  • The exclusive risk manager for the sports lottery in Delaware;
  • The sportsbook partner in 13 casinos in Mississippi where it expects to be the market leading operator;
  • The exclusive partner to IGT in Rhode Island where it supplies sports betting technology and services to the state lottery;
  • Taking bets in West Virginia where the first bets were taken on 30 August
  • Set to open a sportsbook in Pennsylvania in the coming weeks.

Agreement terms

The commencement of operations under this agreement are subject to relevant anti-trust and gaming regulatory approvals. Completion is expected following the necessary approvals. The transaction constitutes a class 2 transaction for the purposes of the UK Listing Rules. For the purposes of the LR 10.4.1 R (Notification of class 2 transactions), the value of the gross assets of William Hill US is $68.5 million and William Hill US generated adjusted operating profits of $28.5m in 2017. William Hill PLC has a market capitalisation of £2.1 billion.

As part of the agreement Eldorado will receive initial consideration of $50m in William Hill PLC shares which are subject to an initial 3-5 year lock-up period, as well as a 20% shareholding in William Hill US. This business includes William Hill’s operations in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, Rhode Island, West Virginia and Iowa as well as its operations in the Bahamas and St Kitts, and all future Eldorado and non-Eldorado US business. Eldorado also has the right to convert its William Hill US shareholding into William Hill PLC shares at market value on the occurrence of certain vesting triggers or during an agreed future exercise window after five years. William Hill has the right to settle the conversion amount due to Eldorado in cash or shares at William Hill’s discretion.

As noted above, under the terms of the transaction, William Hill PLC will issue 13,376,135 new Ordinary Shares of 10p each to Eldorado, representing $50m (the Consideration Shares). The Consideration Shares will rank pari passu with the existing ordinary shares of the Company. Applications will be made for the Consideration Shares to be admitted to the premium segment of the Official List and to be admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market for listed securities (Admission). Admission will occur at the completion of the transaction.

The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.

OAM: Inside Information

William Hill LEI: 213800 MDW41W5UZQ1X82

 

Notes:

1 Following completion of Tropicana acquisition, expected in Q4 2018;

2 Subject to any existing contractual obligations in newly acquired properties.

-ends-

 

Analyst call

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Wednesday 5 September 8.30am

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For further information contact:

William Hill PLC

Lyndsay Wright, Director of Strategy and Sustainability Tom Randell, Head of IR, Ciaran O’Brien, Director of Corporate Communications

 Tel:+44 (0) 20 7612 3000

Brunswick

Andrew Porter / Chris Buscombe

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

 

Notes to editors

About William Hill

William Hill PLC is one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies, employing over 16,000 people. Its origins are in the UK where it was founded in 1934, and where it is listed on the London Stock Exchange. The majority of its $2.1 billion annual revenues are still derived from the UK, where it has a national presence of licensed betting offices and one of the leading online betting and gaming services. In 2012, it established William Hill US with a focus on retail and mobile operations in Nevada, which is now the largest sports betting business in the USA. William Hill US currently operates 108 race and sports books in Nevada and the state’s leading mobile sports betting app. It operates a racebook in Nevada and has licensed operations in The Bahamas and St. Kitts. Following the ruling in May 2018 by the Supreme Court that the federal ban on state sponsored sports betting was unconstitutional, the company is planning to operate where permitted by law throughout America. William Hill US is operating in New Jersey at Monmouth Park Racetrack and Ocean Resort Casino and is a licensed sports betting provider in West Virginia and Mississippi. It is the exclusive risk manager for the sports lottery in Delaware and is the exclusive partner to IGT to provide sports betting services to the lottery in Rhode Island. William Hill has operations in Italy and Spain and serves online customers throughout the world from its Online headquarters in Gibraltar.

About Eldorado Resorts, Inc.

Eldorado Resorts is a leading casino entertainment company that owns and operates 21 properties in 11 states, including Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. In aggregate, Eldorado’s properties feature approximately 22,000 slot machines and VLTs and 640 table games, and over 7,000 hotel rooms. On April 16, 2018, the Company announced that it entered into an acquisition agreement for Tropicana Entertainment Inc. with the transaction expected to close in the 2018 fourth quarter. For more information, please visit www.eldoradoresorts.com.

NOT FOR RELEASE, PUBLICATION OR DISTRIBUTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IN, INTO OR FROM ANY JURISDICTION WHERE TO DO SO WOULD CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE RELEVANT LAWS OR REGULATIONS OF THAT JURISDICTION

This announcement includes statements that are, or may be deemed to be, "forward-looking statements". These forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology, including the terms "believes", "estimates", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "plans", "goal", "target", "aim", "may", "will", "would", "could" or "should" or, in each case, their negative or other variations or comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts. They appear in a number of places throughout these results and the information incorporated by reference into these results and include statements regarding the intentions, beliefs or current expectations of the directors, William Hill or the Group concerning, amongst other things, the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, prospects, growth, strategies and dividend policy of William Hill and the industry in which it operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future and may be beyond William Hill's ability to control or predict. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance. The Group's actual results of operations, financial condition, liquidity, dividend policy and the development of the industry in which it operates may differ materially from the impression created by the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results. In addition, even if the results of operations, financial condition, liquidity and dividend policy of the Group and the development of the industry in which it operates, are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in these results and/or the information incorporated by reference into these results, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods. Other than in accordance with its legal or regulatory obligations (including under the Market Abuse Regulation (596/2014), the Listing Rules, the Disclosure Guidance and Transparency Rules and the Prospectus Rules), William Hill does not undertake any obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.