How much of an advantage do William Hill have in America over major gambling brands?
Founded in England in 1934 at a time when gambling was illegal, William Hill is a household name in the industry and has experienced major growth over the decades.
Known as one of the ‘big three high street bookies’ along with Coral and Ladbrokes, initially mainly forging a strong reputation in the horse racing market, the company has gone from strength to strength over the decades, firmly establishing itself in many more betting and gambling niches.
The branding is unmistakable and in the UK especially, it is hard to walk down any high street and not see a William Hill betting shop. Having grown its online operations across Europe over the last two decades, the gambling giant has now expanded aggressively into America, positioning itself nicely to take advantage of state gambling bill approvals.
In the last six months in 2018, gamblers in the US wagered in excess of $430 million through the William Hill sportsbook, which is prominent across several states, including New Jersey, Mississippi, Indiana and the gambling obsessed state of Nevada.
Early planning starting to pay dividend
They say that preparation is one of the major keys to success and this could not be any more true from William Hill’s perspective. In 2012, the company made its first move into America, by establishing an outpost in Nevada, from where it could get a foot into the door and have an edge over any other British and wider European gambling firms.
Since then it has grown to having well over 120 sportsbooks in the state alone, which accounts for 32 percent of the gambling market share, according to Market Watch. In addition to this, William Hill also operate the Monmouth Park racetrack in the state of New Jersey, home to the iconic Atlantic City resort.
In 2018, the firm began putting plans in place to capitalise on mobile betting and the strength of the brand, decades of experience as well as access to talent means that the company has significant advantages over American rivals and, as a result, can gain considerable market share.
Joe Asher, the group’s US chief executive was confident of the plans they had in place and that they were well equipped to put the necessary foundations in place: “ We have a very deep management team, which combines talented executives with years of experience in Nevada, along with senior leaders from related industries who are new to the sports betting business post-PASPA”
It is certainly something that gives William Hill a major trump card over any US rivals, even throwing up the possibility of potential licensing deals in association with start up online gambling firms in the country.
Whatever happens moving forward though, it is clear that they have a firm grip on the US gambling market and any other European rivals will need to think long and hard about trying to compete for a share.