With the legalization of sports betting in the US, a lot of gambling companies from around the world are trying to get a piece of the action. One of those companies, William Hill, has been contacted by many major sports teams in the US looking for sponsorship.
William Hill has been in business since 1934, and the company has seen many significant changes in the world gambling scene since then.
The most recent of those changes occurred at the start of May, when a US Supreme Court decision allowed the legalization of sports betting in the country. That decision opened up a lucrative market to those in the gambling sector, with everyone scrambling to try and get their own slice of the pie.
William Hill, one of the biggest names in UK betting circles, has been one of the companies trying to take advantage of these new changes in the US. However, it seems that this new bill works both ways because it is reported that William Hill been “inundated” with requests for sponsorship from many of the major sports teams in the US.
Betting companies are involved in prominent sponsorship deals throughout Europe. Ten of the 20 Premier League teams have betting sponsors, including Manchester City, which recently announced a new deal with Marathonbet. Real Madrid, Champions League winner for the last three seasons, is sponsored by bwin.
The chief executive for William Hill US, Joseph Asher, spoke to Reuters about the countless email and phone calls the company has been receiving from major US sports organizations about possible sponsorships. He said: “The leagues and the teams are interested in doing commercial deals.”
William Hill is in a good position to be one of the market leaders in the country and will be at the center of the initial sports bets being allowed in New Jersey on June 14, having entered into a partnership with the Monmouth Park racetrack since 2013.
There are still ongoing debates about whether or not gambling sponsors will be allowed by certain major sports leagues. Officials from Major League Baseball (MLB) told networks and teams that no advertising is permitted from operators of sports betting.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) won’t allow any gambling sponsors to appear on playing kits, based on sponsorship rules that were brought in during 2016.
William Hill US activity
William Hill recently entered into a partnership with Atlantic City-based Ocean Resort Casino. Through that agreement, the company’s sportsbook will be offered in the casino.
There had been concerns that the casino would not receive a license from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC). The casino is set to open on June 28, and the meeting to decide the fate of its license applications will be held June 21.
It is not guaranteed, as CCC spokesman Daniel Heneghan pointed out: “This isn’t just a technicality. Being awarded a casino license is a very major step. We will hear testimony and they will discuss their plans to attempt to meet the burden of operating a casino, after which the commission will deliberate and make a decision.”
William Hill is already involved in US sports sponsorship, as the official betting partner for Lights FC, based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Lights FC is a member of the United Soccer League, the next tier below the MLS.
The team plays at Cashman Field, which has a capacity of 10,000, and is the most popular football team in Las Vegas. As part of this deal, William Hill will be promoting its Nevada mobile betting app to the fans, providing them with special pre-game and in-game odds and markets.
Speaking about this sponsorship deal, Joseph Asher said: “We are excited to partner with Lights FC. Las Vegas is truly a sports destination, and the Lights FC have been a great addition to the city.” It certainly has been a busy few days for the folks at the William Hill US office.