William Hill Team Up With CBS Sports in New US Push
February 12, 2020
The Gold Rush in California lasted a mere seven years in the mid-19th century but it has lived on as an exemplar of the American dream. Now, in the digital age, there is a second gold rush as UK betting sites dive into newly-accessible American markets to exploit the massive potential of 330 million inhabitants in the world’s biggest economy. William Hill, the London-based bookmaker listed on the London Stock Exchange and constituent of the FTSE 250, is prospecting for gold with its latest venture, a strategic partnership with CBS Sports that will make William Hill the official Sports Book and Wagering Data provider across all CBS Sports platforms.
William Hill is delighted to be extending its reach in the US, with Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, saying “CBS Sports, similar to William Hill, has a longstanding history of connecting fans directly to the biggest events and most iconic moments in sports. We are excited about this partnership, with assets including mass-reach digital content products, one of the largest fantasy sports databases and platforms in the world, and leading sports television programming, which will allow us to expand the William Hill brand across America quickly and efficiently.”
The partnership affords William Hill the opportunity to expand its US presence in a low risk way, with the aid of the second-largest sports entity in the US – CBS Sports has over 80 million monthly users across its sites and apps in addition to tens of millions of social media followers. The first phase of the roll-out will comprise integration with CBS Sports’ digital platforms, with the second phase taking place in time for the fantasy football season kick-off in September.
An explosion in the US betting market is anticipated, following the US Supreme Court decision in May 2018 to overturn a federal bill which banned sports betting in all save four states, principally Nevada with the gambling mecca of Las Vegas. The market value is still unclear but Gambling Compliance, an industry research company, estimates annual revenues of up to $8.1 billion in the next four years. However, the American Gaming Association estimates the value of illegal betting to be a whopping $150 billion…the stakes for William Hill and other incoming UK betting companies such as GVC Holdings (Ladbrokes, Coral, and Sportingbet) are high!
That said, only 15 of the 50 US states have fully legalised sports betting to date with 29 in the pipeline (it appears that six states have no plans to introduce legislation at present). Legislation passed thus far has varied state-by-state, adding to the complexity of the newly legalised industry. But, as indicated above, there are enormous commercial opportunities for William Hill and its competitors to now engage the sports-mad American fans in betting activities, and the recent link-up with CBS Sports represents a major advance for the William Hill US operation.