illiam Hill on Thursday posted slightly higher revenue in the fourth months since its first-half results, benefiting from higher online gambling demand and its aggressive expansion in the United States.
Online net revenue rose 26% for the 17 weeks ended Oct. 29, with a 60% jump in net revenue from the United States. Retail like-for-like net revenue fell 16%, and revenues from gaming machines were down 39% in the period, although William Hill said that this was offset by an increase in revenue from sports betting.
The company said that it has a 26% share of the market in the US and is operating in 10 of the 13 states in which sports betting is legal. On Thursday, William Hill separately announced the purchase of sportsbook assets of CG Technology, including its Nevada and Bahamas operations.
This includes the leases at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, The Venetian and The Palazzo, The Palms, the Tropicana and Silverton, as well as providing a betting platform and risk management consulting to the Atlantis on Paradise Island.
“We are pleased to have reached this agreement. This will allow us to expand our Las Vegas footprint to several marquee resorts,” said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US. “We look forward to working with our new casino partners and transitioning CG Technology’s retail and mobile customers to our award-winning offering.”
Following the announcement, Parikshat Khanna, CEO of CG Technology, also commented: “We are happy to reach an agreement for the sale of the race and sportsbook assets of CG Technology to William Hill and look forward to a seamless transition for our loyal casino partners and customers.”
The company is focusing on its online business in light of new rules in the UK, which cut the maximum stake allowed to 2 pounds from 100 pounds on high-speed slot machines. William Hill has also closed about 700 shops and is stepping up its push in the U.S., as reported by Reuters.
In mapping out its online future, the company promoted its digital boss Ulrik Bengtsson to the chief executive role in September. “During my first months as CEO I have been focused on how we can improve our competitiveness whilst ensuring we continue to deliver on our strategic ambitions and I am pleased to confirm we remain on track to meet our full year expectations. We have simplified our structure around our geographical markets, appointed a Chief Technology and Product Officer and introduced a new role of Chief Operating Officer to enable improved customer alignment, execution and drive operational efficiency,” he said in a statement Thursday.
“In the US our business has gone from strength to strength. We have excellent market access, a valuable partnership with Eldorado and we are excited about the potential that is presented by the combination with Caesars,” Bengtsson added.
William Hill reiterated its full-year expectations. It said in August it expects full-year adjusted operating profit to be in the middle of a range of 50 million pounds to 70 million pounds.
Earlier this month, a cross-party group of lawmakers called for a raft of measures to overhaul online casinos including banning the use of credit cards and limiting maximum stakes in online gambling.