IGC Approves William Hill For Retail Sports Betting At Two Eldorado Sites

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The Indiana Gaming Commission on Monday authorized William Hill to conduct retail sports betting operations at two Eldorado Properties — Horseshoe Hammond and Caesars Southern Indiana.

The approvals from IGC Executive Director Sara Gonso Tait gives William Hill three sportsbooks in the Hoosier State. The British-based bookmaker had been given approval as a vendor in August to offer retail sports betting at Tropicana Evansville, and it commenced mobile operations in Indiana through there Oct. 28.

Horseshoe Hammond and Caesars Southern Indiana will begin accepting wagers for retail sports betting on Friday. Horseshoe Hammond was the most notable of the three properties designated by the IGC for Eldorado Properties to sell by the end of 2020 as a condition for approving its $17.3 billion merger with Caesars in July.

Eldorado must divest itself of all three properties William Hill operates by the end of the year.

William Hill gains second retail Chicagoland presence

Horseshoe Hammond has consistently been one of the best retail handle generators for sports betting in Indiana along with nearby Ameristar Casino in East Chicago and Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg. The casinos in the Northwest Indiana corridor consistently attract Chicago-area patrons from Illinois who can make what is sometimes a shorter trip across the state line rather than traverse across the city to Rivers Casino in Des Plaines.

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The Hammond location gives William Hill bookend spots flanking Chicago — it has both retail and mobile components at Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Ill., which is approximately 40 miles west of the city. Horseshoe Hammond generated more than $4.2 million in retail handle in October, according to the IGC, trailing only Hollywood Casino ($11.5 million) and Ameristar ($5.5M) among the nine casinos in Indiana.

The October retail handle is a 57% increase from the nearly $2.7 million handle generated in August as sports schedules across the United States started coming back following the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also a 3.5% improvement from September’s retail handle of less than $4.1 million. Horseshoe Hammond currently has Caesars online and Unibet as their mobile skins, with the latter generating $1.8 million in handle.

Caesars Southern Indiana also has seen a sharp uptick in retail sports wagering over the past two months. Its October handle of $2.4 million was a 51% improvement from August’s figure of nearly $1.6 million, and it narrowly cleared $2 million in handle in September.

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Chris Altruda

Chris Altruda has been a sportswriter with ESPN, The Associated Press, and STATS over more than two decades. He recently expanded into covering sports betting and gambling around the Midwest.

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