William Hill Sees Sharp Drop in US Betting Action

Outside Entrance to Euro William HillAs professional sports resume around the world, sportsbooks and oddsmakers have turned their attention to international football, baseball, and golf.

William Hill says the return of the Bundesliga, Germany’s premier football league, is an encouraging sign for the sports betting industry. The company noted in a trading statement released this past Friday, May 15, that international football accounts for approximately half of its online sportsbook business in the United Kingdom.

Despite the increased attention on niche international sports, there’s still a massive chunk of revenue missing from William Hill’s sports betting business.

Decrease in Amounts Wagered at Sportsbooks

William Hill currently operates in nine U.S. states: Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

From March 11 to April 28, the total amount wagered at U.S. sportsbooks operated by William Hill decreased by 86% compared to the same period the previous year. In the United States alone, the company reported a 90% decrease in total net revenue.

Economic Woes Lead to Furloughs

The majority of William Hill employees who staff the company’s betting shops have been furloughed indefinitely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trading statement mentions that William Hill has also cancelled company bonuses, salary increases, and is deferring hiring to reduce staff costs. Dividend payments to investors have been suspended until further notice.

William Hill Online Casino Coming to U.S.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted business at William Hill’s retail sportsbooks, the company plans to accelerate growth in its internet gaming division by launching an online casino in the United States.

Pending regulatory approval, William Hill plans to debut its new online casino product during the second half of 2020. Reportedly the online casino will launch in the state of New Jersey first, and then the company will roll out the product to every state it has a license to operate in.

Ulrik Bengtsson, CEO of William Hill, commented in the report:

Our ambition to build a digitally led, internationally diverse business of scale is proving beneficial during the disruption as our international online business has performed very strongly. We have accelerated product developments in the US in particular to ensure we are well positioned when sports activity reopens.

William Hill recently set up drive-thru kiosks to service sportsbook clients in Nevada, as mobile wagering remains a top priority for the online gaming giant. The company is still seeing plenty of action via its app. Reportedly, sports bettors have found their interest piqued by table tennis and obscure international football matches.

Penn National Gaming, Owner of Tropicana, Buys Stake in Barstool Sports

Cartoon Hands ShakingPenn National Gaming, a regional gambling operator which owns the Tropicana Casino in Las Vegas, announced on Wednesday that it has bought a minority stake in Barstool Sports, the digital sports, entertainment and media platform.

With the $163 million deal, Penn National Gaming hopes it will put them in a prime position to compete in the growing sports-betting market in the US. Barstool, known for its roots as a Boston sports blog founded in 2003, is valued at a whopping $450 million.

When considering the deal, Barstool Sports will become a private gaming partner for Penn National. This deal could be active for up to 40 years and will give them the exclusive right to use the Barstool brand, whether that’s for online betting or retail products.

Penn National expects to close the deal in the first quarter of 2020, according to a company press release.

“With its leading digital content, well-known brand and deep roots in sports betting, Barstool Sports is the ideal partner for Penn National,” Jay Snowden, president and CEO of Penn National, said in a statement.

Increased Company Value Over Time

Initially, the deal will grant Penn National a 36% stake in Barstool Sports, however, that number will increase to around 50% in three years, with an additional investment of $62 million. Initially, Penn National will also receive two seats on Barstool Sports’ board of directors. Penn will receive other forms of executive control as well.

“Penn National Gaming has one of the biggest infrastructures in the country for gambling. They have sports tracks, they have casinos, they’re all over the country. They have the infrastructure, we have this rabid audience, this fan base craving it. Together, we’re going to create an omnipresent approach to gambling,” David Portnoy, president and founder of Barstool Sports, said in statement on Twitter.

Existing Deal Has Supreme Court Ruling to Thank

This deal never would have come to fruition if it weren’t for a key Supreme Court decision that occurred in May of 2018. On a federal level, the court ruling legalized sports gambling in the US. Now, individual states have the ability fo decide if they want to approve the legalization of sports betting and the terms that come along with it.

Since then, there’s been a rush by both media companies and the gambling industry to capitalize on what they both assume will be a boom in online betting. At the time of writing, the primary leaders of this movement are DraftKings and FanDuel. While they were operating as “daily fantasy” sports games, the two organizations spent a lot of money on marketing the activity and are now at the forefront of online and mobile sports betting within the United States.

The daily fantasy bubble quickly deflated, but the investment those companies made exposing themselves to a young audience seems to have paid off. The two companies are now surpassing the older, more established gambling institutions where online sports betting is legal.

Future Plans

Penn National, which runs or owns dozens of low-profile casinos and hotels around the US (Tropicana in Las Vegas being its most well-known property), believes that Barstool will be critical in attracting consumers to its casinos. The brand is also planning to launch an online betting app and bring in more traffic through these accessible means.

The head of Penn Interactive, Jon Kaplowitz, has high hopes for the Bartool Sportsbook brand. On behalf of his company, Kaplowitz states they’re looking forward to introducing 20 million customers to the new brand, through their retail sportsbooks and interactive products. In a statement, he said:

“Our growing team of product and engineering talent at Penn Interactive is focused on what we anticipate will be a best-in-class sports betting app, which is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2020.”

A person briefed on Barstool’s business estimates the company generated between $90 million and $100 million in revenue last year, with the majority coming from podcasts, merchandise sales, and gambling deals. Under the new agreement, Penn National Gaming’s revenue is projected to grow rapidly.

US Sports Betting Revenue in 2019 Reached Record Levels

The popularity of sports betting is surging around the United States right now. Today, a huge number of states have legalized this industry. New reports indicate that US sports betting revenue in 2019 hit record levels.Sports Betting

It’s incredible, especially considering how new this industry is in the US. Today, we’re going to look at which states are profiting the most from legal sports gambling. We’ll also discuss where this industry is headed in 2020.

Let’s get into it!

More States Continue to Legalize Sports Gambling

For many years, sports betting was almost completely unavailable in the US. Only Nevada, which set laws on this form of gambling decades ago, was legally able to offer sports gambling options. In May of 2018, this all changed.

That month, the US Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA. This immediately gave every state in the country the ability to set its own laws on sports gambling. Several states almost immediately decided to legalize sports betting after PASPA was removed.

New Jersey instantly began earning money from this industry. Both land-based and online sports betting are available in this state. Many individuals from nearby New York would make the trip into New Jersey specifically to make sports wagers.

Today, 21 states have decided to legalize this form of gambling. Even states with harsh laws on gambling such as North Carolina have made sports betting legal. Lawmakers in these states recognize how much money can be earned with legal sports betting options.

Over the next few years, it’s likely that almost every state in the country will begin offering legal sports gambling options. There is simply too much money from this industry for states to ignore. US sports betting revenue in 2019 exploded and is likely to continue in 2020.

US Sports Betting Revenue in 2019 Reaches New Heights

It’s clear that sports gambling is growing more popular every single month. It’s also incredible to see so many states embracing this industry. This week, for example, New Hampshire officially legalized sports gambling.

2019 is now over, and revenue reports for the year are beginning to surface. According to some of these reports, US sports betting revenue in 2019 hit new levels. More than $11 billion was spent on sports wagers in the country. Overall, more than $15 billion has been placed on sports bets in the country.

In terms of actual revenue, licensed bookmakers in the country earned more than $750 million. During the summer months, there was an average of $700 million being wagered on sports. It’s an astounding statistic that shows just how fast the US market has grown.

Initially, US sportsbooks planned to retain around a 5% margin on all bets placed. In reality, this number was closer to 7%.

Things aren’t slowing down, either. We’re now less than two months away from the 2020 Super Bowl. Based on the way things are moving, this will be the most-wagered on sporting event of all time.

2020 Will Be a Massive Year for the US Sports Betting Industry

It’s great to see US sports betting revenue in 2019 increase so much. A huge number of European sports betting operators are now attempting to break into this market. Some, such as William Hill, are now available in several different states.

2020 will be an absolutely massive year for the US sports betting industry. Many more states are likely to legalize this industry. There’s even a chance that California decides to make sports gambling legal.

At the moment, California lawmakers are debating with Native American tribes over sports betting regulations. These tribes want to ensure that sports betting becomes legal inside their casinos. They also want to ensure that revenue from this industry goes into their hands.

Hopefully, California is able to make this industry legal. More states such as Maine and Massachusetts will almost certainly open their betting markets.

US sports betting revenue in 2019 increased dramatically. It seems highly likely that revenue will increase even more in 2020. Make sure to stay tuned for more US sports betting news over the next few months!