William Hill has taken a different approach than other foreign gaming companies when it comes to entering the US online gambling market. While other companies have started to partner with US gaming companies, William Hill has chosen to purchase land-based gaming operations in the country.
Last month, the UK bookmaker announced the purchase of two Nevada sports book businesses. Today, the company revealed that they would also be acquiring Brandywine Bookmaking, a company that has sixteen sports books in Nevada. The move is further evidence that William Hill is attempting to become a presence in the US gaming market.
“These foreign companies have waited for a long time, until they were almost certain that the laws in the US were going to change regarding online gambling,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “Now, with change appearing imminent, the UK companies are moving in with the hopes of gaining a license if the laws change.”
There has been a growing number of lawmakers in Washington in favor of ending online gambling prohibition. Representative John Campbell, a Conservative, has proposed legislation that would overturn the Unlawful Internet gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, and set up a regulated Internet gambling model in the country.
US gaming operators that entered into deals with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in recent months were hurt a couple of weeks ago when an indictment came down against top executives from both countries. Steve Wynn had partnered with PokerStars, while the Fertitta family partnered their Station Casinos company with Full Tilt. Both partnerships were terminated after the indictment.
Analysts understand why these foreign operators are making their move at the current time. Companies like William Hill have impeccable reputations in countries where they are licensed, and in buying US gaming companies, WH can start building that reputation in the US, further adding to the possibility that they will gain a license if the laws in the US change in the coming years.