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William Hill Looking to Expand in U.S.

27 February 2012 by Devon Chappell

Europe’s leading gaming and sports betting business, William Hill Plc., discussed the topic of expansion while reporting earnings this past Friday.  The ever-growing UK bookmaker pointed to its interest in the United States for both land-based and online opportunities.

With a long-standing tradition in the gambling industry, William Hill employs over 15,000 people worldwide and has over 2,300 betting shops.  While it is involved in various aspects of the gambling industry, including the internet sector (courtesy of UK  Online Casino Club), the company is most known for its sports betting heritage – dating back over 75 years.

William Hill’s CEO Ralph Topping discussed the company’s strength and forward-looking goals involving expansion.  Following the earnings report on Friday, Topping told reporters, “We will look to expand outside the UK.  I think we are in good shape now as a business to look seriously at further expansion … Ideally, it would be a multi-channel operation, but online is also attractive to us.”

The company is currently awaiting approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission to purchase three US sports betting businesses.  Topping discussed his expectation that the NGC will grant the necessary licenses and went on to explain the additional benefits William Hill sees in purchasing these US businesses.  It seems that the widely held notion that state-by-state legalization is on its way factors highly in the company’s plans for US expansion.

In addition to the United States, William Hill has its eyes on European countries for possible landing spots for its expansive efforts.  Seeing as countries like France and Italy are all further along in offering legalized online gambling to their citizens, one can easily understand the company’s interest in its European neighbors.  Spain, also onboard with online gambling, recently announced that it would soon begin awarding licenses to online casinos.

With the company’s continued success, indicated by its full year earnings report, one can expect that there will be many opportunities for William Hill to grown its business outside of the UK.

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