The online casino brands owned by William Hill outside of the US will fall into new hands early in 2022. The takeover by the Israeli-British firm, 888 Holdings, has been confirmed, and subject to passing a shareholder vote the deal will be completed in the first quarter of the new year. As part of the £2.2 billion acquisition, 888 will pick up the rights to both William Hill Casino and the Mr Green brand, as well as some 1,400 high street betting shops across the UK.
However, the new owner will not be able to call upon three of William Hill’s other casino brands on the continent – EuroGrand, 21Nova and Casino Club – which will all cease to trade as of November 2021. In takeovers of this magnitude, there’s always mountains of red tape and due diligence to be completed, and 888’s representatives have confirmed that all of the regulatory and antitrust approval has been granted ahead of the deal. Now, the only thing stopping the process from being completed is a key shareholder vote, which will take place early in 2022.
Gambling Mega Brand
Speaking bullishly about the integration with William Hill, 888 believe it will create a gambling mega-brand that generates more than £1.8 billion of revenue each year and employs more than 12,000 people. But first, the firm’s chief executive Itai Pazner is to embark on an ambitious plan to raise £500 million in equity from capital partners in order to push through the takeover. Pazner said:
This transaction will create one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming groups with superior scale, leading technology, increased diversification, and a platform for strong growth, supported by a portfolio of iconic brands. Given the strong progress we have made, we now expect the transaction to complete in the first quarter of 2022 and are excited about the opportunities ahead of us as we combine two powerful and complementary businesses.
It’s all systems go for 888 and it’s a fond farewell to William Hill, whose branding will disappear from the international markets outside of the USA. Caesars Entertainment, the Las Vegas casino giant, has acquired the rights to the William Hill branding and in-house assets as they plot a move into online casino gaming and sports betting in 2022.
As for 888, the future is looking bright too after they recorded strong financial trading in the third quarter of 2021. It’s interesting to note that it’s their casino arm which has driven much of their success, with revenue enhanced by a whopping 11% year-on-year to £156.5 million courtesy of their 888casino platform and the supporting 888bingo, 888ladies and Wink Bingo.
The company has also revealed details of their own US-facing sportsbook in conjunction with Sports Illustrated magazine, and have begun trading in Germany as part of the changing gambling landscape there. They are targeting another key European market too, as the Netherlands legalises online wagering for the first time in 2021. For the moment, 888 does not have a licence for the country under their new regulations, however, they have confirmed their intention to apply for full operating approval in the coming months.