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William Hill US and Golden Knights in multi-year partnership

William Hill US and the Vegas Golden Knights have forged a multi-year partnership, the first-ever between an NHL team in North America and a sports book. The two will collaborate on engaging with fans of legal betting age through various media, advertising and promotional platforms. The partnership will feature a TV visible dasherboard, in-arena signage, updated league-wide odds displayed on the in-arena Knight Tron during intermission, an away game watch party, and recognition on the LED ribbon board of the “William Hill Line Change” when the Golden Knights make a line change during the game.

William Hill US currently operates 108 race and sports books in Nevada and is the state’s leading mobile sports betting app. The Vegas Golden Knights open their 2018-19 regular season on Thursday, October 4 at T-Mobile Arena when they take on the Philadelphia Flyers. During their inaugural season last year, the Golden Knights set a new standard for on-ice performance by an expansion team, shattering several records and winning the Western Conference Championship.

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Golden Knights. We are headquartered in Las Vegas and have seen first-hand what this team has done for our community,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. “William Hill is the leader in the US sports betting market and we are proud of the fact that this is the first sponsorship agreement between a sports book and an NHL team in the country. We appreciate the leadership of Bill Foley and his Golden Knights management team in bringing a winning franchise to Las Vegas and always working to make the in-game experience the best anywhere.”

Vegas Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz commented: “We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments our fan base and provide a unique fan experience. Like the Vegas Golden Knights, William Hill US is a proud ‘Vegas Born’ organization. This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space.”
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Power Play! William Hill & IGT partner targeting US lottery betting contracts

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William Hill US and International Game Technology (IGT) have confirmed that they have entered a ‘multi-year agreement’, seeking to deliver sports betting provisions to US state licensed lottery incumbents.

The alliance sees FTSE250 William Hill partner with IGT the leading technology systems supplier for North American lotteries.

Last August, both organisations partnered to provide a ‘full-service sports betting solution’ for the state of Rhode Island through sportsbook at the Twin River and Tiverton Casinos.

Updating the market, IGT governance has disclosed that it will move to its ‘PlayShot’ sportsbook platform to US state lottery operators, offering sports betting across multiple verticals (retail, desktop, mobile).

Renato Ascoli, IGT CEO, North America commented on the partnership: “Through this unique partnership, our customers will be able to enter this new activity with total confidence and trust in the service being offered. IGT is uniquely positioned as a leader in both lottery and sports betting technologies to deliver innovative solutions that will expand the possibilities for players and for lotteries themselves in this exciting new market. By forming this partnership with William Hill, we are able to bring to our lottery customers in every state a world-class combination of technology and operational expertise.”

The partnership sees William Hill US act as sportsbook operations and management lead for US lottery contracts, offering services such as player and market management, trading and risk monitoring and sportsbook premises management.

The strategic arrangement could see William Hill significantly expand its operational and brand footprint throughout the new US market. As North America’s biggest lottery systems supplier, IGT services state licenses for states’ of Texas, California, New York and Michigan.

Backing IGT, Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US, said: “We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with IGT to address the U.S. lottery market together. William Hill’s track record as an operator globally, and our clear leadership as a sports book operator in the U.S., in particular, mean that U.S. lotteries can be confident that in choosing IGT and us together, they will be benefiting from a reliable, trustworthy, and responsibly-managed solution – maximizing revenues to each state with a quality product and service.”
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William Hill gains vital US knowledge via Gordon Wilson hiring

William Hill have announced a further strengthening of its US approach, with Gordon Wilson to take up a position on the firm’s board of directors, as an independent non-executive director, from January 2 next year.

The current President and CEO of Travelport Worldwide, Wilson is to become a member of the board’s corporate responsibility and nomination committees upon joining.

Roger Devlin, Chairman of William Hill, commented: “Gordon brings extensive experience of the development and use of proprietary technology and data at scale on a global basis.

“This, alongside his knowledge of the US market in particular, bring great value to William Hill, given our strategic priorities and focus on capturing the opportunity provided by sports betting regulation in the US.”

Travelport powers real time flight, hotel and car bookings for the global travel industry as well as providing mobile apps and technology services to airlines such as easyJet, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Delta.

The organisation is also the majority shareholder of travel payments provider eNett, of which Wilson also chairs, hailed as “the leading cross border international commercial payments business operating in the travel industry”.

Speaking of his new position Wilson stated: “It is a fascinating time to join the board of William Hill, and I look forward to bringing my experience to the table to play a part in the ongoing growth of the business.”

William Hill has also detailed that Sir Roy Gardner, senior independent non-executive director of the company, is to step down from the board of directors with effect from 20 November 2018, due to anticipated commitments.

Mark Brooker, currently non-executive director, is to step into the roll upon Gardner’s departure.

Devlin added: “We thank Roy for his extensive contribution to William Hill since joining the board in 2014, a period which had substantial change. Most recently, Roy led the board’s process to appoint a new chairman.

“We also welcome Mark Brooker to the role of senior independent non-executive director, reflecting his significant input since joining the board in April 2017.”
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William Hill sells UK racing trackside betting network

FTSE bookmaker William Hill has confirmed the sale of its on-course betting points/stalls network worth £2 million, ending its trackside presence within UK racing.

First established in 1934, William Hill has chosen to dispose its entire 82 racecourse pitch network to independent racing bookmaker Sid Hooper.

The diminishing returns of its on-course network sees William Hill prioritise its horseracing services through its racecourse betting shops and digital verticals. Furthermore, the FTSE bookmaker will retain a brand presence within UK racing, acting as lead sponsor of ITV Racing.

Under the leadership of CEO Philip Bowcock and CFO Ruth Prior, William Hill continues to execute its corporate transformation programme, prioritising group operational cost savings and US market growth opportunities.

The transformation programme has seen William Hill reduce all in-stadia wagering properties with the bookmaker offloading its Newcastle and Sunderland Greyhound tracks to Arena Racing in 2017.

William Hill becomes the latest UK retail bookmaker to terminate its on-course betting network, as Betfred and Ladbrokes ended their trackside presence in 2016.

Confirming the sale to the Racing Post, William Hill trading director Terry Pattinson said: “With a William Hill betting shop now at 41 racecourses, we have reviewed whether our rails operation continues to make commercial sense.

“Our focus now is to provide on-course customers with a full retail experience on the racecourse, so it makes sense to move away from our rails operation, hence, we have agreed a sale with Racecourse Pitches Ltd. We wish them the best of luck with their new expanded operations.”
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