Sportsbook Giant William Hill Buys CG Technology
The rich get richer and the product gets shittier. To the casual observer, sports betting in the United State is expanding at a very healthy rate. Most sportsbooks are reporting healthy profits. Nothing detrimental has occurred to deter other states from joining the party. Nearly every major media outlet has some talking head telling you the “lock of the week.” Yes, sports betting’s big moment is here. But those who are veterans of the game know that there’s a lot of red flags starting to fly. Odds service giant Don Best looks more and more like its being operated by a bunch of interns. Offshore sportsbook Pinnacle is quietly morphing into a more visually appealing version of recreational bettor haven 5Dimes. And news broke yesterday that William Hill bought out CG Technology. In a corner-the-market move, William Hill now owns seven Nevada sportsbooks and is expected to take over Caesars some time in 2020. William Hill checks a lot of boxes of what bettors are looking for in a sportsbook, with the lone exception being its unwillingness to do business with winning players. Their business model is simple and becoming an all-too-popular industry standard: We welcome all action so long as it doesn’t hurt our bottom line.
Meanwhile, CG Technology (formerly Cantor Gaming) was supposed to become an “onshore” version of CRIS. Taking big bets from sharp players and offering cutting edge betting options. But a number of blunders, most notably its backdoor dealings with agents and Pinnacle, resulted in a slew of fines. The fact that they lasted this long is in hindsight impressive.
In a cruel twist of irony, sports betting hitting the mainstream has actually made it more difficult for the guys trying to grind out a profit. And it’s only going to get worse.