Nov 24, 2017

William Hill holds preliminary talks with CrownBet over merger

UK bookmaker William Hill is in early stage talks to merge its Australian business with CrownBet, an online gaming company that is part of Australian billionaire James Packer's gambling empire. Crown Resorts, whose biggest investor is Mr Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings and which also has a 62 per cent holding in CrownBet, confirmed on Friday it was in discussions over the online gaming business, but did not say who with. A person close to William Hill cautioned a deal with CrownBet may not happen any time soon, as the talks were at a very early stage. About 30 per cent of William Hill Australia's amounts wagered come from customers using credit betting. William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair, The Stars Group, 888 Holdings, Rank Group and Jackpotjoy have all looked seriously at potential deals as the UK government considers how to clamp down on fixed-odds betting terminals - the lucrative in-store betting machines that campaigners say are addictive and are vital source of revenue for high street bookmakers.

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