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

Posted on June 3, 2021

William Hill is starting to ramp up its Indiana presence.

The online brand has opened up in-person sportsbooks at a handful of casinos in the state.

Caesars Entertainment purchased William Hill earlier this year. That has Caesars expanding the brand throughout its Indiana properties.

William Hill Indiana sportsbooks

You might run into one of the new William Hill sportsbooks if you’re gambling down south.

Caesars just installed an in-person William Hill sportsbook at both Tropicana Evansville and Caesars Southern Indiana.

Horseshoe Hammond is the other Caesars property that now has William Hill.

Caesars also owns Indiana Grand Casino and Harrah’s Hoosier Park, but the duo is going without the William Hill branding for now.

Those two properties are horse racing casinos that both contain Winner’s Circle sportsbooks. Winner’s Circle is just a different Caesars brand that specializes in betting on horse races.

The Indiana Gaming Commission gave Caesars the green light to make the changes to the sportsbooks on May 25.

Caesars adding William Hill retail sportsbooks to three of its casinos gets the company the most bang for its buck.

There are twelve Indiana online sportsbooks, and they have created a competitive market in the state. Brand recognition is a huge part of finding success.

Adding in-person William Hill sportsbooks should only help Caesars with that.

However, it might be a temporary move for the casinos since Caesars is selling all three of them.

Caesars selling Indiana casinos

Caesars merged with Eldorado Resorts in 2020, creating a new powerhouse in the gaming industry.

Indiana regulators had to approve the merger last summer.

At the time, the gaming commission had concerns that letting Caesars keep five casinos would give it too large of a market share in the state.

Hoping to avoid a Caesars casino monopoly, the state forced the company to sell off three of its Hoosier State properties.

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

Caesars has until the end of the year to sell Horseshoe Hammond.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians bought up Caesars Southern, and Bally’s scooped up Tropicana. If everything goes according to plan, both deals should finalize by early 2022.

Caesars just installed its new sportsbooks, but the new owners of each casino might decide to scrap the William Hill branding for something new.

Caesars Southern is the most-likely candidate for keeping the status quo in place.

Its new owners are keeping Caesars around in some capacity. Even the Caesars Rewards program will still be in place after the sale.

There’s no way to know what will happen at Horseshoe Hammond, since Caesars hasn’t found a buyer for the casino yet.

On the other hand, Bally’s will be removing the Caesars brand entirely once it takes over Tropicana Evansville. That means the new William Hill Sportsbook will be short lived at that property.

Bally’s Evansville coming soon

Before long, Tropicana Evansville will have a new name.

The casino will be known as “Bally’s Evansville” once the company takes the keys later this year.

Indiana Pacers fans might already be familiar with the brand.

Bally’s bought up the regional sports networks around the country that broadcast local NBA games.

What was once FOX Sports Indiana is now Bally Sports Indiana.

Now that Bally’s is in the Indiana casino game, CEO George Papanier made it clear that the Bally’s brand will reign supreme in Evansville.

“We intend to prominently display the Bally’s brand and incorporate our brand into all aspects of the operations,” Papanier said at a recent gaming commission meeting. “We will be converting the current sportsbook to Bally’s Sports Bar & Grill pending approval.”

FanDuel and TwinSpires retail sportsbooks

William Hill isn’t the first online sportsbook to add in-person locations in Indiana.

Blue Chip Casino and Belterra Casino already feature retail FanDuel Sportsbooks.

FanDuel is the second-most popular online sportsbook in the state.

The company took in $67 million worth of wagers during April alone.

Its retail locations have helped build the company’s brand awareness throughout Indiana.

TwinSpires is hoping for the same kind of progress.

Churchill Downs recently rebranded BetAmerica sportsbook to TwinSpires, and with it came a change at Rising Star Casino.

The casino’s in-person sportsbook is now using the TwinSpires branding.

Penn National Gaming is the third company with a dual online and retail presence in Indiana.

The company recently launched Barstool online sportsbook, and it also operates in-person Barstool books at Ameristar East Chicago and Hollywood Lawrenceburg.

So, even if the new William Hill retail sportsbooks are only around for a few months at the new Caesars locations, they’ll act as a sign of William Hill’s desire to become a major player in Indiana’s sports betting industry.

Photo by Associated Press
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Jake Garza

Jake Garza is a US Gambling Industry Analyst for Catena Media. He specializes in Midwest sports betting and casino content. Prior to covering the legal gambling industry, he spent time as a professional sports writer, reporting on teams such as the Cincinnati Bengals, Indianapolis Colts and Indiana Pacers. Garza is currently working as a Managing Editor for PlayIndiana and PlayOhio, with previous stops at other well-known brands such as PlayIllinois and PlayMichigan. He has been covering the gambling industry since 2019, and currently works with a team of other journalists to provide comprehensive coverage of the legal U.S. gambling industry.

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