Displaying assurance in their Rhode Island alliance and the probability that many states will operate sports betting through current lottery operations, IGT Global Solutions Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Game Technology and William Hill U.S., a subsidiary of William Hill revealed Tuesday they have entered into a multi-year agreement to offer U.S. lotteries a full service solution for sports betting.
In late August, the Rhode Island Lottery chose IGT and William Hill to jointly run its sports betting operation under the state lottery umbrella. IGT, the long-time lottery contractor in Rhode Island with brick-and mortar offices in Providence, is using its sports betting platform with William Hill serving as risk manager.
Rhode Island Lottery officials project that sports betting operations are not expected to be up and running at the state’s two casino locations until mid-November, well into the NFL and college football season.
Bookmaker William Hill and IGT Partner Up In Play to Dominate Sports Betting Operations Connected to U.S. Lotteries, With ‘Full Service Solution’
The companies said in a media release that, under the terms of the partnership, they would jointly evaluate all future sports betting opportunities and bid requests from U.S. lotteries on a mutually exclusive basis. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
IGT’s PlayShot sports betting platform is already operational the four U.S. states that have recently opened new legalized sports betting marketplaces. William Hill operates sportsbooks under its own or partner brands or provides risk management services in those same four states — New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia and Mississippi plus Nevada — where legal sports betting is active today.
Industry observers note that some states are moving towards involving pre-existing lottery operations in sports betting because regulatory infrastructure is already in place and can be expanded as lottery states pass new laws, if necessary, specifically allowing sport betting.
One such example is Oregon, a state whose limited sports betting game was permitted as “grandfathered” under the now-defunct 1992 federal law banning full-fledged sports wagering outside Nevada. Oregon state lottery officials are now moving forward with the development of sports betting games for 2019, based on the determination that no new legislation for sports wagering is necessary. Iowa is another state considering sports betting operations flowing through the state lottery in addition to licensed casinos.
An IGT spokesman noted to CDC Gaming Reports that the company operates the Hoosier Lottery in Indiana and the Illinois State Lottery, two markets expected to consider sports betting regulation in 2019. IGT said it currently provides equipment and services to 39 of the 45 state lotteries in the U.S.
Mobile gaming, where legal, is expected to be folded into many sports betting apps and the IGT/William Hill alliance will allow for this union, according to their joint statement. The ability to merge casino gaming and sports betting on the same mobile app, with one wallet and one password, is believed to be the key factor in many British-controlled companies, such as Paddy Power/Betfair’s FanDuel Group and 888 Holdings, among others, gaining a foothold through their online gaming and sports betting platforms.