Indiana’s New William Hill Retail Sportsbooks Might Not Last For Long

William Hill is beginning to increase its presence in Indiana.

The online brand has established physical sportsbooks at several casinos within the state.

Earlier this year, Caesars Entertainment acquired William Hill, leading to the expansion of the brand across its properties in Indiana.

William Hill Indiana sportsbooks

If you’re gambling down south, you may come across one of the new William Hill sportsbooks.

An in-person William Hill sportsbook has just been installed by Caesars at both Tropicana Evansville and Caesars Southern Indiana.

William Hill is now also available at Horseshoe Hammond, another property of Caesars.

Caesars also owns the Indiana Grand Casino and Harrah's Hoosier Park, but for now, they are not adopting the William Hill branding.

Both of those properties are horse racing casinos housing Winner’s Circle sportsbooks. Winner’s Circle, a brand specializing in horse racing betting, is simply a different branch of Caesars.

On May 25, the Indiana Gaming Commission approved Caesars to make changes to the sportsbooks.

The company gets the most value for its money by adding William Hill retail sportsbooks to three of its Caesars casinos.

Twelve online sportsbooks exist in Indiana, fostering a competitive market within the state. Achieving success is heavily dependent on brand recognition.

The inclusion of in-person William Hill sportsbooks should only aid in Caesars’ success.

However, this may only be a temporary shift for the casinos, given that Caesars is putting all three up for sale.

Caesars selling Indiana casinos

In 2020, Caesars and Eldorado Resorts combined to form a new dominant force in the gaming industry.

The merger had to be approved by Indiana regulators last summer.

At the time, the gaming commission was worried that allowing Caesars to retain five casinos would result in an excessively large market share in the state.

In an effort to prevent a monopoly by Caesars casino, the state mandated the company to divest three of its properties in the Hoosier State.

The three it chose to offload are Horseshoe Hammond, Tropicana Evansville, and Caesars Southern Indiana.

Caesars has until year-end to sell Horseshoe Hammond.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has acquired Caesars Southern, while Tropicana has been purchased by Bally's. If all goes as anticipated, both transactions are expected to be concluded by early 2022.

Caesars has just implemented its new sportsbooks, however, the new proprietors of each casino may choose to discard the William Hill branding in favor of something new.

Caesars Southern is the most probable contender for maintaining the status quo.

The new owners have decided to retain Caesars in a certain role. The Caesars Rewards program will also continue to operate post-sale.

Since Caesars hasn’t yet found a buyer for Horseshoe Hammond, it’s impossible to predict what will happen at the casino.

Conversely, once Bally’s takes over Tropicana Evansville, it will completely remove the Caesars brand. This implies that the newly introduced William Hill Sportsbook will have a brief presence on that property.

Bally's Evansville coming soon

Tropicana Evansville will soon be getting a new name.

Once the company takes over later this year, the casino will be renamed as “Bally’s Evansville.”

Fans of the Indiana Pacers may already be familiar with the brand.

Bally’s acquired the regional sports networks across the country that air local NBA games.

Bally Sports Indiana is the new name for what was previously known as FOX Sports Indiana.

Bally’s has now entered the Indiana casino industry, and CEO George Papanier has asserted that the Bally’s brand will dominate in Evansville.

Papanier recently stated at a gaming commission meeting, “Our plan is to highlight the Bally’s brand and infuse it into every aspect of operations. Subject to approval, we will be transforming the existing sportsbook into Bally’s Sports Bar & Grill.”

Retail sportsbooks FanDuel and TwinSpires

Indiana is not the first state where William Hill, an online sportsbook, has added in-person locations.

FanDuel Sportsbooks are already featured at Blue Chip Casino and Belterra Casino.

In the state, FanDuel is the second most popular online sportsbook.

During just the month of April, the company received wagers worth $67 million.

The company’s brand awareness throughout Indiana has been bolstered by its retail locations.

TwinSpires is anticipating similar progress.

Rising Star Casino underwent changes following Churchill Downs’ recent rebranding of BetAmerica sportsbook to TwinSpires.

The TwinSpires branding is now being used by the casino’s in-person sportsbook.

Penn National Gaming is the third company to have both an online and retail presence in Indiana.

The company recently introduced the Barstool online sportsbook and also manages in-person Barstool books at Ameristar East Chicago and Hollywood Lawrenceburg.

Therefore, even if the newly introduced William Hill retail sportsbooks at the new Caesars locations are only operational for a few months, they will serve as an indication of William Hill’s ambition to become a significant competitor in Indiana’s sports betting market.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza, a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media, specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Before transitioning to the legal gambling industry, he was a professional sports writer, covering teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts, and Indiana Pacers. Garza currently serves as the Managing Editor for Play Indiana and PlayOhio, having previously worked with other prominent brands like PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. Since 2019, he has been providing in-depth coverage of the gambling industry, working alongside a team of journalists to deliver extensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling sector.

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