Bookmaking giant William Hill has stepped its game up in the U.S. with a huge Supreme Court ruling imminent regarding legal online sports betting. The sportsbook has faced issues with the Australian market due to legislative pressure, but with America seemingly getting close to relaxing its stance on the practice on wagering sports, the States appear to be ripe with opportunity.
The US Supreme Court is currently deliberating the Christie vs. the NCAA case which has gambling aficionados, insiders and casino owners alike abuzz at the chances of repealing PASPA, the federal ban on sports betting established in 1992. While detractors including President Donald Trump, and more recently the NCAA, make their positions known and the NBA and MLB have attempt to propose plans to get their cut of the action, the decision could open up a market with crazy potential.
William Hill entered the United States gambling market back in 2012 and has maintained a presence in Nevada, the only state where single-team sports betting is legal, and Delaware, where it serves as exclusive risk manager for the state’s sports lottery, despite previously heavy regulation on the market.
The sportsbook is the world’s largest legal bookmaker currently employing 16,000 in over 2,350 betting shops. It also boasts the largest resource base in sports betting. The company has grown financially as it reported an increase in net revenue of 29 percent in the U.S. adding to a seven percent overall growth in the U.S. and U.K.
CEO Philip Bowcock recently addressed William Hill’s intention to ready itself for substantially increased investment in the U.S. market:
“William Hill begins 2018 in a stronger position after a year of significant change for the business. … We are a leader in sports betting in the US and are well positioned to benefit should more states start to regulate if the pending Supreme Court decision is positive.”
The comments came shortly after MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren announced his confidence that the Supreme Court will, indeed, rule in favor of New Jersey’s state rights. Online wagering is a huge part of the company’s future plans and with online and mobile betting up for legalization in New Jersey and later potentially across the U.S., interest is at an all-time high.
While the NBA and MLB pushed for a 1 percent integrity fee on potential sports betting operations, the precedent set in Las Vegas, where William Hill exists and doesn’t currently give pro sports leagues any such cut, could help shape the landscape on legal gambling operations. Bowcock explained:
“Looking ahead, we will invest in more innovation in Online and our omni-channel platform, as well as in the US to ensure we can unlock its full potential at the right moment. A key pillar of our strategy moving forward will be to act in a sustainable way. While it is imperative that the gambling sector as a whole embraces this, there is no doubt that leading brands like William Hill must play a key role in setting the right standards and taking greater account of all our stakeholders. In the months ahead we will be taking a number of steps as a matter of urgency to ensure that we embed this approach in our business for the long term.”
Should the SCOTUS rule in favor of New Jersey, William Hill will already be well-prepared to set up shop. The sportsbook has already partnered with prominent Oceanport racetrack Monmouth Park so that the facility will offer sports betting and the recently expanded sports bar bearing the company’s name.
Beyond New Jersey a growing number of other states have drafted legislation to beat the rush should the SCOTUS return a favorable verdict including Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Indiana, Missouri, and New York. As each day passes, it truly seems legal online betting in coming to the US and William Hill is ready.