by Renee Israel
William Hill has become the first British bookmaker to be awarded a
license by authorities in the US state of Nevada to run a sports book under new
The Nevada Gaming Commission offered several companies, including
IGT and Bally Technologies, a license after they were recommended by the state's
gambling control board and showed that they met all the criteria to obtain the
Through William Hill securing a Nevada license, the group
will be allowed to offer sports betting on mobile devices to bettors within the
state, and also positions the company at the fore should online gambling rules
change at a federal level in the United States.
"Mobile gaming is the fastest growing part of our business and this
adds a new dimension for us, Said the Chief Executive of William Hill, Ralph
William Hill Owns Three Vegas Bookies
In 2011, William Hill began its official move into the US market by
purchasing three local sports gaming companies - American Wagering (parent
company to Leroy's Horse and Sports Palace), Brandywine Bookmaking and Cal Neva
Lodge in Reno - for the price of $55 million.
All three companies are well established in the Nevada gambling
market with Brandywine Bookmaking, for example, operating 17 sports books in the
state, while also running the Delaware Sports Lottery with other partner groups.
Final approvals of these three deals were subject to William Hill
obtaining its license from Nevada regulators, which, as stated was received this
Will Hill said it intended to continue operating the three
businesses in their bricks and mortar state as well.
William Hill is already looking to secure other deals with its new
licensing status and said that it "had offers coming out of the woodwork."
$25 Million a Week
The new Nevada gambling license is set to see William Hill's
business soar. Already the company handles $25 million a week - a significant
increase from two years ago when the group only handed $1.5 million a week.
Will Hill runs 2,370 betting parlours across Great Britain,
while 28% of its revenue last year (of $1.7 billion) came from online gambling.
90% of the group's business comes from the United Kingdom, although this ratio
is set to change with the new Nevada license, as well as the recently awarded
Spanish license in the European country's newly regulated market.
Nevada's authorities will continue to approve or reject licenses
in the coming weeks.