a sign in front of a building: Caesar's Palace (CZR) in Las Vegas

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Caesar’s Palace (CZR) in Las Vegas

Since being acquired by Eldorado Resorts for $17.3 billion this summer, Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) has become a hot stock. Since my July 23 story on the combination, CZR stock is up 53%. This despite Eldorado borrowing $6.6 billion for the purchase and taking on $9.7 billion of Caesars debt.

a sign in front of a building: Caesar's Palace (CZR) in Las Vegas

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Caesar’s Palace (CZR) in Las Vegas

In addition to getting the iconic Las Vegas casino, and taking its name, Eldorado got Bally’s, Harrah’s, and a host of other brands. The deal showed how gambling has become a national business.

Now the stock is hotter because of Caesars’ pending purchase of William Hill, the British bookmaker. The deal lets Hill escape the private equity clutches of Apollo Global Management. It also gives Caesars pole position for the next gambling revolution, namely the internet.


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(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 UK betting shops, and said it would integrate the U.S. business into Caesars with few, if any, job losses.

It could sell the UK assets to private equity group Apollo

, sources told Reuters this week, and if that failed, launch an auction process.

Online gaming firm 888 <888.L> 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,

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(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.

Headquartered in London, William Hill was founded in 1934 as a postal and telephone betting service, and already has a U.S. partnership with the owner of Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace.

Following are some details on the latest addition to the Caesars brand:

** William Hill is Caesars’ exclusive sports book provider in the United States and Caesars has a 20% stake in the British company’s U.S. business

** After betting shops became legal in Britain in 1961, William Hill bought many businesses, driving major growth over the next decades, and currently operates 1,414 licensed betting offices in the country

** The UK accounts for roughly 61% of William Hill’s online revenues, while international markets make up 39%. While the

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Online gambling is suddenly the hottest segment of the international gambling market. DraftKings (NASDAQ:DKNG)Everi Holdings (NYSE:EVRI), GAN Limited (NASDAQ:GAN), and even Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN) have been shooting higher for the past six months on hopes that online gambling will be a highly profitable business for them. 

But the traditional gambling industry may still have a few tricks up its sleeve. MGM Resorts (NYSE:MGM) is one of the biggest online gambling companies in the U.S. already, and it is slowly expanding its presence. And Caesars Resorts (NASDAQ:CZR) is only now starting to take online gambling seriously.

This week, it’s Caesars that may be ready to make a big move into the market by buying its online gambling partner William Hill. 

Person betting on soccer on mobile device.

Image source: Getty Images.

Caesars’ big move

The news on Friday was that Caesars and private equity firm Apollo have both submitted cash offers to acquire

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By Tanishaa Nadkar

(Reuters) – Caesars is in advanced talks with William Hill on a takeover offer that values the British bookmaker at 2.9 billion pounds and would give the casino operator full control of a quickly expanding U.S. sports-betting and online business.

In a joint statement on Monday, the companies said that Caesars was considering offering 272 pence per share for William Hill and that the board of the UK company was minded to recommend such an offer to shareholders.

However, the bid follows a surge in William Hill shares on Friday to more than 312 pence per share after the company said it had received offers from both Caesars and buyout group Apollo Global Management Inc , suggesting that a bidding war was in the offing.

Shares in William Hill handed back almost all of Friday’s gains on Monday to trade at 275.2 pence, suggesting that even if

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Lombard nicknamed William Hill, the betting business, Zippy Chippy, a US racehorse famous for 100 starts and no wins after the group’s record of false starts, falls and refusals. The column may have to think of a better nickname after the bookie received a 272p bid from its US partner and casino operator Caesars. It focuses attention on online betting in the US as never before. Until recently, investors’ eyes tended to turn to the negative regulatory outlook for betting in William Hill’s UK heartland. In contrast, US state rulemakers have been freeing restraints on online gambling since 2018. 

That was the year William Hill signed a 25-year joint venture with the casino operator El Dorado, which became Caesars Entertainment, to gain access to the US group’s casinos and name. The UK group now claims a 29 per cent share of running sports books in Las Vegas and Nevada gambling

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British bookmaker William Hill PLC said it has received takeover proposals from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and Apollo Management International LLP, the latest sign of global interest in the growing U.S. sports-gambling market.

Sports betting in the U.S. was booming before the pandemic, and the monthslong shutdown of casinos for social distancing this year underscored the value of online sports wagering for major gambling operators. In recent months, betting companies have spun off digital arms and made big investments into online gambling, activity that has been accelerated by the impact of the pandemic on retail revenue, according to analysts.


William Hill, a London-listed company that has become a major player in the U.S., said Friday that talks with the two potential suitors were ongoing but cautioned there was no

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Caesars Entertainment CEO Tom Reeg told CNBC on Monday that the further legalization of sports betting is one of the biggest growth opportunities for the gaming industry in perhaps over two decades. 

“This is an enormous opportunity. I’d liken it to when states outside of Nevada and New Jersey started to legalize riverboat casinos in the ’90s,” he said “Closing Bell.”

Reeg’s comments came shortly after Disney-owned ESPN announced it had struck an agreement that makes Caesars, through its sports betting partner, William Hill, a co-exclusive a partner for gambling link-outs from ESPN. Shares of Caesars, which have been hurt in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, closed higher by more than 10% Monday to $55.39 each. 

“We think there’s a lot of money to be made here over time, and we’re seeing a lot of interest from non-gaming operators,” Reeg said of legalized sports betting. “This ESPN

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