The New Jersey Devils have inked a deal with William Hill that, among other things, will establish a betting lounge inside Prudential Center arena.
In a press release issued yesterday, William Hill US said the “William Hill Sports Lounge” will feature more than 20 screens dedicated to sporting events and displaying the latest odds.
The lounge will not have betting kiosks or teller windows so it won’t technically be an actual sportsbook, but it comes close – especially with visitors able to place bets via the William Hill NJ app.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reported yesterday that because the NHL is not comfortable with sportsbooks operating in team arenas, William Hill Sports Lounge comes up just short of being an actual sportsbook. However, William Hill representatives will be on-hand to assist customers with downloading the app and placing bets.
The multi-year agreement will also give William Hill signage throughout the arena, including ads on the arena’s dasherboard and will establish the “William Hill Line Change” scheduled to display at the first line change of the NJ Devils each period.
The Devils-William Hill agreement will also extend beyond the arena property itself. William Hill announced that it will be hosting fan watch parties at Monmouth Park, promote itself on team’s radio and digital broadcasts on the Hockey Network as well as on NJ Devils social media properties.
In a statement, William Hill CEO Joe Asher said this:
“We are thrilled to partner with the New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center. With three retail William Hill Sports Books and our Mobile Betting app now available in the Garden State, engaging New Jersey sports fans is extremely important for us. This partnership provides us with a number of fantastic opportunities to connect directly with the passionate supporters of New Jersey’s hockey team.”
Hugh Weber of Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, which runs the Devils and Prudential Center, said this in a statement:
“In William Hill, we have found a partner that shares our dedication to the state of New Jersey and our commitment to creating a dynamic and engaging fan experience. As the No. 8-ranked arena in the world and in light of the New Jersey Devils’ international roster and fanbase, it was only natural that our first partner in this dynamic new category be a trusted, international brand like William Hill.”
William Hill Establishing a Firm Foothold in the US
This is the first professional NJ sports team to sign a deal with a sports betting operator and the second NHL team to sign a deal with William Hill. In September, William Hill reached an agreement with the Vegas Golden Knights that is said to include cross-promotional opportunities such as in-arena advertising and NHL-wide betting odds displayed on the jumbotron at certain times.
With a history dating back to 1934, William Hill has long served as a major player in sports betting on the international stage. WilliamHill.com is one of the world’s largest bookmakers, but until recently the company has been relegated to the state of Nevada where it operates sportsbooks in 107 of the state’s casinos.
Since the Supreme Court ruling in May, William Hill has expanded its operations throughout the US to serve as the partner of the Delaware Lottery in running its sports betting operations, runs the sportsbooks at Monmouth Park, Ocean Resort Casino and the Tropicana in NJ, has launched a NJ betting site and has partnered with two NHL teams to date.
William Hill is setting itself up to be one of the dominant forces in the US sports betting market. A number of international operators have set up shop in the US, but none have expanded as quickly or across as much ground as William Hill.