- William Hill will operate the sportsbook at Las Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort after receiving unanimous approval of their nonrestricted gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Commission late last week.
- The company was recommended for approval of the necessary licensure to operate the Palms sportsbook by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in mid-April.
- The Palms will reopen on April 27, now under the ownership of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority.
Caesars Entertainment owned sportsbook operator William Hill has received final approval to operate the race and sportsbook at the Palms Resort Casino in Las Vegas. The final step was receiving a nonrestricted gaming license from the Nevada Gaming Commission, which approved William Hill’s request unanimously. The Palms will reopen on April 27, now under the ownership of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority.
The Gaming Commission’s quick approval of William Hill after a brief hearing last Thursday was hardly a surprise. They were summarily recommended for approval by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in mid-April with only the typical ‘boilerplate’ conditions attached to their application. The same conditions were attached to the final approval issued on Thursday by the second half of Nevada’s bifurcated regulatory structure:
There was virtually no chance that William Hill would be rejected during either part of the regulatory approval process given the fact that they already operate at 100+ locations throughout Nevada.
For Nevada sports bettors, the selection of William Hill to run the sportsbook at the Palms is a good news/bad news situation. The good news is that the property will definitely have a well run and state of the art sportsbook. The bad news is that it’ll be a William Hill property–this is no indictment of the company but since they operate at 124 locations across the Silver State already their services are already widely available. The good news is that the Palms will have a sportsbook. The less good news is that it’ll be a William Hill operated location. Nothing against William Hill, but since they operate at 124 locations across the Silver State they’re not exactly a rare commodity. In a Nevada sports betting ecosystem already sorely lacking in variety there was some hope that the San Manuel tribe would at least offer a new ‘out’.
When the Palms announced plans for an April 27 re-opening date, information about a sports betting operation at the property was absent in both the press release and on their website. Since the property had been sold by former owners Red Rock Resorts to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority in May 2021 it was initially unclear what they would be doing relative to sports betting. The plan became apparent during this month’s meetings of the Nevada Gaming Commission and Nevada Gaming Control Board. While it would have been great to get a new independent sportsbook in Southern Nevada that’s not going to happen at this time.
Sports betting has always been a focal point at the Palms. Prior to their closure with the rest of Nevada’s gaming industry at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Palms sportsbook was operated by Cantor Gaming/CG Technologies. William Hill purchased the assets of CG Technologies and took over operation of five of their sportsbooks in August 2020. The company took over operations at The Cosmopolitan, the Venetian and the Silverton immediately. Two properties that were part of the deal remained closed at the time–The Palms and Tropicana. The Tropicana reopened in mid-September 2020 but the Palms never reopened up to the time it was sold by Red Rock Resorts.
Not much is known about the specifics of the Palms sportsbook relaunch though William Hill has characterized it as needing ‘modernization’. At the Gaming Commission hearing, Jeffrey Hendricks, senior VP and assistant general counsel of regulatory and compliance for Caesars indicated that it will be a ‘top flight sportsbook project. Earlier, William Hill officials reported that the revamped Palms book will have five betting stations and six kiosks when it reopens April 27.