Following Close of William Hill Deal, Caesars Intent on Investing in Sports and Online Gaming Following Close of William Hill Deal, Caesars Intent on Investing in Sports and Online Gaming

Now we control our own destiny in what I continue to believe is an extraordinarily exciting opportunity for the companyLate last month, Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) completed its $4 billion acquisition of global sports betting and online gambling company William Hill PLC (LSE: WMH), and it now has its sights focused on the US sports betting and online gaming markets.

In Caesars’ 2021 first quarter earnings call last week, Chief Executive Officer Thomas Reeg told analysts and investors that the company is prioritizing investment into “sports and online” with the intent of becoming a leader in the space.

Part of that strategy includes the rebranding of the US operations of the newly acquired William Hill. It plans to call its physical sportsbooks Caesars and its online sportsbook app Caesars Sports.

“And now we control our own destiny in what I continue to believe is an extraordinarily exciting opportunity for the company,” Reeg said of the close of the William Hill deal.

When asked about his expectations for Caesars’ market share for sports betting (the lion’s share of which is likely to take place online) or online gambling, Reeg went on to say, “I would expect we will have a competitive business and brand by this coming football season […] we expect to be a player this fall.”

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The Success of BetMGM Provides Raises Caesars’ Expectations

Caesars’ confidence about its potential rise in the ranks is driven in part by the recent success of BetMGM, the online gaming arm owned by global gaming giant Entain and MGM Resorts International, one of Caesars’ closest competitors.

In an earnings call to investors last month, BetMGM boasted of Q1 revenues of approximately $163 million, a figure equal to 90% of its full year revenue for 2020 and large enough for the company to claim the top spot among all igaming operators in the in terms of Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for the three-month period ending February 2021.

“If you look at what our friends at MGM Michigan, in the quarter where they came from a position similar to where William Hill was to a leadership position in a market where they had a large database, that gives us a lot of confidence as we move forward,” Reeg commented. “But we understand that we’re going to need to invest in this business, both on the tech and the customer acquisition side.”

Caesars Expands its Partnership with the NFL

Included in its customer acquisition strategy is leveraging media partnerships. Last month, the National Football League announced its first-ever partnerships with legal US sportsbooks which included Caesars along with top sports betting companies DraftKings and FanDuel.

The sportsbooks will be allowed to incorporate their sports betting content into the NFL app and on NFL.com.

Caesars becoming an Official Sports Betting Partner of the NFL represents an expansion of their partnership. In 2019 Caesars became the first-ever Official Casino Sponsor of the league.

The expanded agreement also includes Caesars online gaming applications, according to the press release.

While no further details about the igaming portion of the deal were made available, it could mean that we will see an NFL branded World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas this year or on WSOP.com where the company holds its online bracelet events in the US.