Bally’s Corporation has signaled their desire to take advantage of the exploding US legal sports betting industry with their $125 million acquisition of sports betting platform supplier Bet.Works. Bally’s, one of the more recognizable names and holder of an estimated 14 million active customers in the US gambling scene obviously did their homework and determined the way to exponentially grow their business is through expansion of their mobile platform.
Bally’s last couple of years has been all about growing their brand from a small regional casino company to a big national player in the rapidly expanding US legal gambling space. Acquiring Bet.Works, a “U.S.-based technology and services company delivering the most advanced iGaming and sportsbook products” is their latest, and possibly most important step to date.
The company also recently bought the Bally’s brand and the Bally’s property in Atlantic City. It then changed its name from Twin River to Bally’s and changed its stock ticker from TRWH to BALY.
What’s in It for Bally’s
Bally’s expansion plan that spanned for the better part of two years. Any strategy in the US must include a strong mobile presence – something sadly lacking in Bally’s previous portfolio. A recent report by the American Gaming Association revealed that over 80% of the National handle was coming by way of mobile apps and the most successful states in the Union have consistently reported around 90% of the handles coming via mobile means.
An “interactive arm” will give Bally’s that mobile focus that is essential in today’s sports betting business and will deal with both business to business and business to consumer. According to Bally’s, the acquisition will give it a “suite of advanced omni-channel products…. that will enable it to deliver unrivaled sports betting and iGaming offerings to customers on a national scale.”
Bet.Works proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions has a strong presence in some of the most attractive markets in the US for which Bally’s gets immediate access to. Those markets include New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana and Colorado. It gives Bally’s a built-in as well as proven marketing, operations, customer service, risk management and compliance structure.
The US legal sports betting industry has evolved in the 2 ½ years since the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn its blanket ban on legal sports betting industry, forcing states and providers to evolve with it or be left behind. Strength in all sectors of the business, which includes retail, mobile and marketing to name a few is essential in the competitive space and that is what Bally’s has successfully been working toward.
“This is the next step in our Company’s evolution,” said Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors. “By combining our expanding national footprint of casinos, the recently acquired Bally’s brand, and Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack, we have evolved in just a few short years from a regional casino operator into the first U.S. gaming company committed to serving our customers with an omni-channel approach, combining the best of our physical properties with a superior online experience.”
Not Stopping With Bet.Works
Bally’s growth strategy didn’t stop with their bold move into the mobile space. This week it was announced that Bally’s reached a $85 million, 10-year agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to rebrand all 21 Fox Regional Sports Networks to Bally’s Sports. As part of the agreement, all 190 Sinclair TV stations will support Bally’s content.
“This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the US sports betting, gaming and media industries,” said Bally’s chairman Soo Kim. “Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels and RSNs [Regional Sports Network], provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos as well as our future online offerings, and ultimately deliver significant shareholder value.”
New Sheriff in Town
Bally’s has made a strong move toward prominence in the US legal sports betting space. With 14 casinos boasting fully equipped, top-tier mobile platforms across 10 states once all pending transactions are completed, Bally’s has officially arrived on the scene.
“A two-property company less than 5 years ago, the $900 million market cap Bally’s Corp. has completely transformed the portfolio to 14 assets through $950 million of spending in the last two years,” according to market research firm Macquarie Group. “We believe online gaming is the hidden treasure of the company.”
The Bet.Works purchase should close in the first quarter of 2021.