Nevada regulators approve William Hill purchase of CG; company’s Strip operations expand Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · August 28, 2020 at 7:45 am The chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission got in one final shot at Las Vegas sportsbook operator CG Technologies just prior to approving the sale of the thrice-disciplined company to rival William Hill U.S. “CG will be gone and take some of that baggage with them,” Chairman John Moran Jr., said Thursday of the company, whose checkered history in Nevada includes paying a total of $9 million in fines since 2014. William Hill CEO Joe Asher told the Gaming Commission the purchase includes taking over the sportsbook operations of six casinos on or near the Strip. Asher and his attorney, Scott Scherer, said the sportsbooks at the Venetian Las Vegas, Palazzo, Tropicana Las Vegas, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Palms, and Silverton, are all located on or near the Strip, a market where William Hill has room to grow. Meanwhile, William Hill is also in the process of assuming operations of 11 other Nevada sportsbooks – including nine located on or near the Strip – that were managed by the former Caesars Entertainment. Included in that deal is the iconic sportsbook at Caesars Palace. The company, still known as Caesars, was acquired in a $17.3 billion merger last month by Eldorado Resorts, which has a partnership with William Hill. Scherer told the commission the CG deal was not anti-competitive, citing a lengthy analysis that was completed for the Gaming Control Board prior to the Caesars deal being approved. “Historically, William Hill’s smallest market” has been the Strip, Scherer said. He also noted that sports betting in Nevada has become “a statewide market,” with more than half of all wagers being placed through mobile sports betting apps. “William Hill has operations all over the state, and the lines and odds are the same,” Scherer said. Prior to the CG and Caesars deals, William Hill’s only Strip locations were at Circus Circus, Sahara, and Casino Royale. William Hill CEO Joe Asher, right, with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman at the AGA Sports Betting Executive Summit in 2019 Asher said he was excited by some of the sportsbook locations William Hill is acquiring on the Strip through the CG purchase, including the Venetian, Palazzo, and Cosmopolitan. He said discussions have begun with Las Vegas Sands about renovating the Venetian sportsbook. He is also looking at a renovation plan for Silverton. “There are some things we will do a little differently. We just wanted to get the finish line,” Asher said. “We’ve invested millions into sportsbooks in this state.” The purchase was announced last November. A sale price was not disclosed, and Asher told the commission that litigation judgment he was owed by CG stemming from a 2017 lawsuit was credited against the purchase price. A Clark County jury found that Asher did not breach terms of his non-compete agreement when he left CG in 2007 to form his own company. A spokesman for CG said the company had no comment on the business transaction itself “as it was announced in November and was cleared today.” Asher also said Thursday gaming regulators in The Bahamas approved a deal in which William Hill will provide a betting platform and risk management consulting to the Atlantis on Paradise Island. Earlier this month, Asher told the Gaming Control Board the transition will appear seamless to sports betting customers. Uncashed CG betting tickets will be honored by William Hill, and CG mobile sports betting customers will be transitioned to the William Hill mobile app. He said Thursday that William Hill plans to hire between 80 and 100 former CG employees, including workers in the sportsbooks and CG’s corporate offices. William Hill also manages the sports betting operations for five downtown Las Vegas resorts: The Strat, the Downtown Grand, Binion’s, the Plaza, and Four Queens. Asher was managing director of CG, then known as Cantor Gaming, when the company came to Nevada in the mid-2000s. Cantor Gaming was the sports betting affiliate branch of financial firm Cantor Fitzgerald. He left Cantor Gaming in 2007 to form his own sportsbook management firm, Brandywine Bookmaking, which quickly grew into a network of 16 race and sportsbooks throughout Las Vegas under the Lucky’s Race and Sports brand name. William Hill currently operates more than 120 race and sportsbooks in Nevada through both retail locations and wagering kiosks, as well as a mobile sports wagering app. The company also operates retail sportsbooks in New Jersey, Indiana, West Virginia, Illinois, Colorado, and Iowa, and is online in Iowa. It is also a licensed sports betting provider in numerous casinos in Mississippi and New Mexico and serves as the exclusive risk manager for the Delaware and Rhode Island sports lotteries. William Hill also opened a sportsbook at the Capitol One Arena in Washington D.C. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.