Carl Icahn is selling Tropicana Entertainment casinos for $1.85 billion. The sale, announced on Monday, was made in two parts:
- Gaming and Leisure Properties (GLPI) paid $1.21 billion to own the properties, while Eldorado Resorts will pay $640 million and will lease the properties from GLPI for 15 years.
GLPI is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that was spun off from Penn National Gaming. This could have national implications for sports bettors. Prior to the deal, GLPI owned and/or operated more than 35 casinos across the country. Before this deal was made Eldorado Resorts had 20 casinos around the country.
The sportsbooks at the three Eldorado casinos in Nevada are all operated by William Hill. The sportsbook operator has over 100 locations in Nevada alone with payment depots at 7-Eleven locations around the state.
This deal could open the door for William Hill casinos all around the country. A very long article at bloomberg.com called “The British Bookmaker Betting Big on American Sports Gambling” recently offered a lot of information but few specifics on how William Hill might become a big operator in America. Will Hill’s existing connection with Eldorado Resorts could be its way into multiple states at the snap of a finger.
William Hill is a relative newcomer to the United States having only started operations in 2012. However, the company has shown a way to scale sports betting inside and out of casinos.
All you need is a foot in the door
Some businesses are good enough at making deals that they only need a foot in the door to get things done. In this case, William Hill has a foot in the door with Eldorado Resorts which could help open the door to sportsbooks around the country. Eldorado Resorts currently operates casinos in the following states:
- West Virginia
If the foot in the door with Eldorado leads to a foot in the door with GLPI, William Hill could operate a sportsbook in the following states too:
- New Mexico
GLPI could also offer more brick and mortar locations for William Hill at their casinos.
In a perfect world, William Hill could have sportsbooks in 17 different states when sports betting becomes legal in the United States. Caesars Entertainment currently has casinos in 13 different states.
First things first: sports betting has to be legalized for any of this speculation to become reality.