William Hill Explores Merger With CrownBetJake Cooper | 04 Dec 2017
Arguably Britain’s largest gambling and sportsbook operator, William Hill, has now confirmed that it has entered discussions around a possible merger between its Australian business division and local rival CrownBet. It should be noted that William Hill has stated that there is no certainty that an agreement will be reached between the two firms.
The gaming and betting behemoth has revealed that it is in the early stages of talks around a possible merger with the rival online betting company CrownBet, which is owned by entrepreneur James Packer. The bookie has noted that these discussions have so far been ‘very preliminary’.
It is important to note here that Aussie entertainment group Crown Resorts currently owns a 62% stake in CrownBet.
Revenues On The Rise For UK Bookie
William Hill has not released any further details on the potential merger deal. However, an inside source has explained that the merger may not happen anytime soon, considering that negotiations are still in such early stages. The insider noted that it is very normal for companies in the global gambling industry to hold regular discussions, especially considering the consolidation process that has already launched within the market.
The announcement of these preliminary talks between William Hill and CrownBet has come just days after the bookmaker released a promising market update last week. The betting operator has noted that its digital revenues are on the rise, revealing a 6% increase in the 17 week period up until October 24 alone, and also a 3% growth in its UK retail store revenues.
However, the results were something of a mixed bag in terms of William Hill’s international figures. The bookie’s Australian revenues fell by 2%, while its US division delivered a 28% increase in revenue during the period in review.
Paddy Power Also Considers Merger
Allegedly, William Hill is not the only British operator that has revealed interest in a possible merger with CrownBet. Reuters has reported on good authority that Paddy Power Betfair has also initiated talks around a potential merger with the Australian betting and gaming firm.
The gambling industry may also be preparing for further consolidation as more operators voice concerns over the impact of tighter regulations on their performances, according to a recent report by Casino Guardian. The UK gambling crackdown could see companies experiencing massive revenue declines thanks to the government’s plans to slash stakes on fixed odds betting machines (FOBTs).
Players are currently allowed to wager as much as £100 every 20 seconds on these machines, but local authorities aim to lower this figure to between £2 and £50. This crackdown would severely impact the British gambling industry as a knock-on result of the government’s recent gambling review.