Last week British bookmaker, William Hill received approval to run 159 sportsbooks and kiosks in Las Vegas. Those 159 include Leroy’s, Lucky’s and Cal Neva sportsbooks. While this gives William Hill great reach, it comes with little money.
While William Hill will operate 55 percent of the state’s race and sports books, it would only generate about 11 percent of the state’s book revenue. Race and sports books, while popular with a loyal clientele of sports bettors, generate less than 5 percent of the state’s gross gaming revenue and usually partner with resorts to run a casino’s sports wagering.
It will be interesting what direction William Hill takes these, mostly, locals sportsbooks. As you may or may not know I do much of my small sports betting with Leroy’s iPhone app. (You can see more thought on the app in my review at Vegas Chatter.)
More interesting is that this really consolidates the sportsbook market in Vegas. Consolidation is rarely good for the consumer as it narrows competition, but this may actually be good for the local sports bettor. This William Hill consolidation may provide better betting options and locations for the local Nevada sports better.
While Leroy’s sportsbooks may not see much of a change since many of their locations are in bars and not casinos, it’s possible that William Hill could breath life into Lucky’s and some Cal Neva sportsbooks. Lucky’s sportsbook at the Riviera could be the first to see some action.
While sports betting only represents about 1% of the bottom line for a casino improving the Lucky’s sportsbook at the Riviera would give a good excuse for many people to visit. Since many sports bettors are analytical and care a lot about odds, they may use this as an excuse to take in some the best gambling on the strip. The Riviera has 3:2 blackjack, 1000x odds craps and single zero roulette.
This may be just what the Riviera’s doctor ordered.
Photo: Las Vegas Sun
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