High-profile UK bookmaker William Hill has issued a warning to its affiliates over the promotion of unlicensed operators that target the US market.
An email sent out by the company on Friday to all affiliates warned them that they were prohibited from promoting casinos aimed at the US market on the same site as William Hill promotions.
The communication was issued by the William Hill Affiliates division of the betting group. It instructed all recipients to remove any William Hill-related marketing material from any site that was also promoting the services of unlicensed US-facing operators. The email goes on to warn that failure to abide by this instruction would see the affiliate site’s account closed.
The heightened concern over any negative publicity related to the US market reflects the new position of William Hill as a leading player in the US market. The firm has made considerable investments in the US, focused on the fastest-growing sports betting markets. This has included a number of new partnerships, such as the arrangement with Monumental Sports and Entertainment in New Jersey, which enables them to provide sports betting and online casino products.
But the US sports betting market is at an early stage of its growth, and there is still considerable opposition to betting in general in the country. Many states have yet to introduce regulated sports betting, and in those states that have moved to make the sector legal, regulatory oversight is strict.
William Hill is involved in a fight with a number of other operators such as Bet365 and Kindred, to gain a share of the US market, so they are understandably keen to avoid antagonising US regulators.
It is not known how many William Hill affiliates currently promote unlicensed casino sites to the US market, but by issuing this communication, the firm is clearly attempting to demonstrate diligence in this area.