William Hill Warns Affiliates Against Promoting Unlicensed US-Facing Sites
It is true William Hill is struggling in its domestic UK market due to growing regulatory pressure and ruthless competition from its rivals that are much better armed for the growing demand for a strong digital product, and have merged with fellow gambling operators to create an even stronger product.
However, the company is well-positioned to deliver continued growth and success in the nascent but extremely attractive US sports betting market.
The British bookmaker has been dominating the Nevada wagering market even before the May 2018 ruling of the US Supreme Court that overturned a federal ban on athletic gambling. And it has expanded across multiple other states since that historic ruling.
A few days ago, the company turned to its US-facing affiliates to ensure that nothing would mar its growth potential across the pond.
The company sent this week emails to its marketing partners, warning them not promote it “alongside unlicensed US operators on any website.” William Hill’s message to its affiliates went on that if they want to continue to promote such unauthorized gambling operators, they should “remove all William Hill promotions” from their websites immediately.
If affiliates referring US traffic do not remove promotions by William Hill, they risk to have their accounts with the operator closed “in line with our terms and conditions.”
William Hill Fears Regulatory Action
News about William Hill warning affiliates came shortly after the Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, issued an advisory bulletin focused on media references to unauthorized sports wagering websites.
The bulletin aimed “to inform news and media outlets and other entities engaged in sportsbook advertising in New Jersey about the importance of not endorsing or referencing” online sports betting operators that are not licensed to conduct their activities on the territory of the Garden State.
News and media outlets were thus urged to only source information from websites that are licensed “either in New Jersey or another jurisdiction” and to “limit discussion on wagering odds for an event when there is no authorized source available”, among other things.
Yet, the gambling regulator noted that if an unauthorized website must be mentioned in a story, news and media outlets will need to “include a statement that the site is not licensed to provide sports wagering bets in New Jersey” and to direct readers to the official website of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement that contains a list of all locally licensed operators.
New Jersey legalized sports betting weeks after the May 2018 SCOTUS ruling. On June 14, 2018, William Hill opened a retail sportsbook at the Monmouth Park racetrack to mark the start of legal wagering in the Garden State.
Since then, the company’s US division has also launched digital and brick-and-mortar facilities at Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort and Tropicana casinos.
William Hill’s recent message to affiliates once again shows that the operator is betting big on its US expansion and is even ready to cut ties with marketing partners that have helped it grow its customer base for years in order to avoid regulatory action and cement itself as one of the big players in the US sports betting market.
The British bookmaker underscored the importance of its US operation in its latest trading update, by revealing that its athletic gambling division operating across the pond has recorded a 60% revenue growth.
Source: William Hill affiliates told to stop promoting US-facing sites, Calvin Ayre
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