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Howard Stutz

William Hill to be race and sports book operator at SLS Las Vegas

29 August 2013

LAS VEGAS -- The remodeled SLS Las Vegas is roughly a year away from opening, but the $400 million Strip resort’s pieces are beginning to fall into place.

Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group, LLC on Wednesday said it partnered with William Hill to operate the race and sports book inside the reconfigured casino, which is rising from the remnants of the former Rat Pack-era Sahara.

The 3,000-square-foot race and sports book will be connected with one of the trendy restaurants SBE is bringing to the new property.

William Hill U.S., a division of the British bookmaker, operates more than 100 race and sports books across Nevada. The SLS location allows the company to be part of the design process from the beginning, rather than just taking over a location inside an existing casino.

“It won’t be our largest facility, but we want to make it a showcase,” William Hill U.S. CEO Joe Asher said. “It’s nice to be able to create something right from the beginning.”

SLS Las Vegas President Rob Oseland said anyone who had been inside the old Sahara, which closed in May 2011, won’t recognize the new property when it opens in the fall of 2014.

Much of the low-rise area of the former Sahara has been demolished since construction work began in March. Oseland said foundation and steel structure will begin going up over the next few weeks.

“You will start getting a good sense of feel for the casino space,” Oseland said. “We’re completely reinventing the experience of the casino.”

The casino area will double in size to 60,000 square feet with 80 table games and 800 slot machines.

Oseland couldn’t say which restaurant would be attached to the William Hill facility.

SLS Las Vegas has already announced that The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Katsuya by Starck, Umami Burger, The Sayers Club and 800 Degrees, will be part of the lineup, as well as fashion retailer Fred Segal.

Plans for the sports book include offering guests access to William Hill’s mobile wagering technology. The sports book will feature a high-definition video wall for viewing of sporting events and wagering odds. The book will also offer the company’s InPlay wagering on many events.

“We think it will be a great place to watch a football game or any sporting event,” Asher said.

Oseland said SLS Las Vegas plans to market the property to locals, and to the tourist audience interested in the luxury-boutique model.

The SLS Las Vegas is owned by SBE Entertainment in partnership with Stockbridge Capital Group of San Francisco. The companies secured the last pieces of the $415 million in financing needed to complete the redevelopment project in February. The initial $300 million was secured in April 2012.

Oseland said the SLS has begun hiring key personnel and management staff. The resort, which will have 1,620 hotel rooms, is expected to employ 2,700 workers.
William Hill to be race and sports book operator at SLS Las Vegas is republished from