Indiana sports bettors now have another sportsbook app to download and a new sports betting partnership to enjoy.
State officials recently gave William Hill the green light to begin taking online bets. The authorization was undoubtedly good news for America’s top sportsbook operator, and marks significant progress in a wait stretching back to its licensure in 2019.
Officials permitted William Hill to begin taking bets as early as Wednesday, and the company was ready to go.
William Hill is officially live in Indiana, but that’s just the beginning of this week’s Caesars-William Hill news.
In expected move, Caesars to sell Tropicana Evansville
Caesars and William Hill made waves in late September when the two sides announced a $3.7 billion takeover deal.
Upon expected government approval in the second half of 2021, Caesars will control a joint venture previously 80%-owned by William Hill.
The two companies are already tied together in Indiana.
William Hill operates The Sports Book inside Caesars’ Tropicana Evansville casino. The Indiana Gaming Commission authorized William Hill’s mobile betting app through its ties to the property.
However, Caesars is selling Tropicana Evansville for $480 million to Gaming and Leisure Properties and Twin River Worldwide Holdings.
The sale, which should be completed by mid-2021, has been anticipated since Caesars merged this summer with Eldorado Resorts.
Caesars was required by The Indiana Gaming Commission to sell and handful of its Indiana properties for the deal to be approved.
The combined Eldorado-Caesars operations are now run under Caesars Entertainment Inc.
Sale’s potential impact on William Hill Indiana app
William Hill needs to be partnered with an Indiana casino to run its app. That requirement could present a hurdle for the product in the future, since it was approved under the Caesars-Tropicana Evansville umbrella.
One possibility is that Twin River will maintain the existing arrangement and the William Hill license will stay under Tropicana Evansville.
What could be more likely is William Hill needing to transfer its mobile relationship to another Caesars casino once the sale is complete.
That would require a restart of the licensure process and could impact the app down the road.
With so many moving pieces, the future of William Hill’s Indiana app is hard to predict.
A recent development, however, shows that William Hill and Caesars are serious about boosting their place in Indiana’s sports betting market.
Caesars, William Hill join forces with Colts
Caersars and William Hill took the major step this week of becoming sports betting partners with the Indianapolis Colts.
The partnership is mutually beneficial.
It gives the Colts a more prominent place in Indiana’s growing sports betting industry, and ties the two companies to Indiana’s most popular professional sports franchise.
The deal will allow Caesars Rewards to sponsor the Colts mobile app’s free-to-play “Pick 6 Predictor” game.
In general, the game gives fans six questions to answer before an upcoming game.
Correct answers lead to weekly prizes, and possibly even a trip to Las Vegas. Winners will stay at a Caesars Entertainment site.
William Hill will also get boosted exposure through the Colts’ digital and physical assets.
Venture targets digital, virtual needs
“Our company has deep roots in Indiana,” Chris Holdren, co-president of sports and online gaming for Caesars Entertainment, said in a statement about the partnership.
“This expanded partnership with William Hill and our long relationship with the Indianapolis Colts deepens our strong ties within the community. Combined, both will provide an exciting entertainment experience – on gamedays and beyond.”
William Hill’s Chief Marketing Officer, Sharon Otterman, cited “tremendous success” since joining the Indiana market in 2019.
The new Colts relationship will bolster that position.
It will also increase William Hill’s prominence in the state right as its app releases.
Otterman said Caesars, William Hill, and the Colts are “three industry leaders … reshaping the way fans engage with sports during unprecedented times.”
The Colts reiterated the need to grab fans’ attention with unique approaches.
“In the digital age, and particularly this virtual world in which we find ourselves now, finding new ways to engage with our fans, partners and community is one of our top priorities,” said the team’s Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Roger VanDerSnick.
This partnership shows a concerted effort to boost William Hill’s sports betting presence in the state.