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William Hill US to launch racebook in Florida with Casino Miami


William Hill US is set to launch betting on horse racing in Florida after agreeing a deal to open a new land-based facility at Casino Miami, marking the first time it will operate in the market.

Subject to regulatory approval, the racebook is scheduled to open before the end of the current year. The planned facility will feature 10 screens for fans to watch events, as well as a 30ft video wall, high-top tables and 30 race carrells.

Should William Hill US and Casino Miami secure approval for the launch, the new racebook would offer pari-mutuel simulcast betting.

While wagering will be limited to thoroughbred and harness horse racing, as well as greyhound racing and Jai Alai, from across the US, the launch would give the operator a foothold in the state should sports betting be legalized.

“Casino Miami is a great location with a modern space where we have created a first-class experience for all racing fans in the area,” William Hill US chief executive Joe Asher said.

Phillip Ruffin, the owner of Casino Miami, added: “William Hill has unparalleled expertise and a rich history in racing. The company has led the industry for decades and together we will bring state-of-the-art technology and innovation to Casino Miami.

“This new racebook will provide us with an incredible amenity for guests and will place us at the forefront of the forthcoming Florida sports betting business.”

Confirmation of the new partnership comes after Florida Senator Jeff Brandes last week submitted three bills in the state senate to regulate sports betting in Florida.

Bills SB 968, SB 970 and SB 972 would allow for sports wagering organised by the state lottery and by private licensees. If any of the bills pass into law, betting would be offered at retail locations and online.

In November 2018, Florida voters approved an amendment whereby any law to introduce sports betting in the state would require a referendum to come into effect.

Should any of the new bill progress through the legislature, the matter could be put to voters at the November 2020 ballot.