UK bookmakers are currently preparing to take advantage of potential opportunities in the US gaming industry as the Supreme Court draws closer to ruling on legalising sports betting.
William Hill and a number of established companies will be in a commanding position if things go as expected, having the network, industry contacts and logistics to hit the ground running in the bigger US market.
The chief executive of the US branch of major British bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair, Kip Levin, said the time is ripe for the country currently managed by Donald Trump to catch up with the rest of the developed world on the issue.
“This is the closest the US market has come to opening up,” Levin said.
“The sports leagues and the casino industry are behind it, so all the winds are blowing in the right direction.”
William Hill currently operates more than half of the casino sportsbooks in Nevada, where sports betting is legal. It is currently in partnership with Monmouth Park racecourse to start a betting operation in New Jersey.
William Hill is also in talks with potential partners in other states to start betting operations. A former deputy director of the Alderney Gaming Control Commission and a gambling consultant, Darin Oliver, says, that the bookmaker is in a great position.
“Nobody is going to benefit more than William Hill in that market,” Oliver said.
He was of the view that since the US is a federal country, the repeal of PASPA will not necessarily result in a nationwide gambling spree.
“The states still have to pass legislation and that won’t happen immediately. California, one of the biggest markets, is at least a year or more away from allowing it if they even do.”
Paddy Power Betfair is another strong contender in the US gambling industry. The firm currently owns the TVG television network that telecast live horse racing and has 300 US staff. They can use this to their advantage to promote sportsbooks in the US through partnerships with racecourses and casinos.
Ladbrokes and GVC are also set to complete a merger in a $4 billion deal. Even though they have a small presence in the US the merger will help them compete favourably. There are several other deals going on underground.
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