US casino giant Caesars has agreed a £2.9bn takeover of British bookmaker William Hill. Caesars already owns a 20 per cent stake in William Hill‘s US operations, which also have exclusive rights to operate sports betting under the Caesars brand.
Last week, William Hill said it had also received a takeover approach from private equity firm Apollo but it has rejected that offer in favour of Caesars.
Caesars is particularly interested in William Hill’s US bookmaking business which has 170 sites in 13 states.
Gambling profits are on the rise in the US after a long-standing ban on sports betting was ruled unlawful by the Supreme Court. Campaigners have warned of an increase in the risk of addiction and gambling-related harm.
Last month, William Hill said it would reopen 119 of its UK High Street betting shops after the coronavirus shutdown, because it thought customers numbers were unlikely to recover.
UK bookmakers have been making an increasing share of their profits from online gambling.
William Hill chairman Roger Devlin, chairman, said: “The William Hill board believes this is the best option for William Hill at an attractive price for shareholders.