US affiliates

British gambling operator William Hill is asking its US-based affiliates to stop promoting its operations “alongside unlicensed US operators on any website.” The company said that if affiliates continue promoting it with illegal websites, then the company will pull their promotions immediately and close the affiliate accounts.

William Hill’s UK-facing business is facing extensive regulatory scrutiny. The UK Gambling Commission is tightening regulatory practices in the market, and the company’s competitors are consolidating their operations. William Hill doesn’t have a big lineup of digital products to continue appealing to the British market. However, its US operations are thriving, and it doesn’t want to land its American revenue in jeopardy.

The company potentially fears regulatory action in the US. The American market still doesn’t have a federal guideline for gambling, which leaves operators with a patchwork of regulations to follow in different states. Most recently, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued an advisory bulletin urging media companies to avoid advertising or referring to unauthorized sports betting websites. Any reference to such websites must come with a disclaimer that they are not licensed to operate in the Garden State.

William Hill ran gambling operations in Nevada and expanded its offering to New Jersey after the PASPA strike down in 2018. The company runs a retail sportsbook in the state, at the Monmouth Park racetrack. It runs two other gambling operations at Tropicana casinos and Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City.

The recent email by the operator to its affiliates shows that it is interested in following the rules and expanding rapidly in the US. It’s in the latest trading update; the company recorded a 60% revenue growth in the US sports betting operations. The company is ready to threaten its relationship with marketing partners to ensure it doesn’t fall into a regulatory trap that hinders its growth.

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