Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

A pedestrian walks past a William Hill betting shop in London on July 25, 2016.

Neil Hall/Reuters

U.S. casino operator Caesars Entertainment agreed on Wednesday to buy British-based gambling group William Hill for 2.9 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) to expand in the fast-growing U.S. sports-betting market.

The U.S. group, owner of Las Vegas’s Caesars Palace, intends to sell William Hill’s non-U.S. operations, including more than 1,400 U.K. betting shops, and said it would integrate the U.S. business into Caesars with few, if any, job losses.

It could sell the U.K. assets to private equity group Apollo , sources told Reuters this week, and if that failed, launch an auction process.

Story continues below advertisement

Online gaming firm 888 said it would be interested.

“We’re looking at different activities and bolt-on acquisitions. This (William Hill’s European business) can definitely fall under that category,” CEO Itai Pazner told Reuters.

Stifel analyst Bridie Barrett, meanwhile, said she viewed a tie-up between Caesars and 888 as increasingly likely in the medium term, but added the U.S. firm may not have the appetite for a deal for now.

Shares in William Hill, which already offers sports betting in Caesars casinos in the United States, hit a two-year high of 312 pence on Friday after the British company said it had received separate takeover offers from Caesars and Apollo.

With the board backing the deal with Caesars, market pricing now indicates investors expect the 272 pence per share takeover by the U.S. company to go through. William Hill shares were last down 0.15 per cent at 273.85 pence.

“This is the best option,” William Hill Chairman Roger Devlin said.

The deal, which Caesars will partly fund via a $1.7 billion issue of new stock, is a move to take control of – and expand – the companies' U.S. sports-betting joint venture, currently 80 per cent-owned by William Hill.

Story continues below advertisement

Long the preserve of informal bookmakers, sports betting in the United States is growing rapidly after a landmark ruling in 2018 and gambling companies are reaching out for European expertise to back expansion.

In Britain, William Hill has closed more than 700 betting shops after new regulations limited the maximum stake on lucrative gaming machines. Its U.K. rivals include GVC, which owns the Ladbrokes brand, as well as Flutter Entertainment.

Jefferies analysts said the prospect of a bid battle with Apollo had faded due to the threat of Caesars terminating the joint venture if its deal failed. For the bid to go through, it needs 75 per cent support from William Hill shareholders.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies