After completing the previously announced acquisition of Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino from Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) and Vici Properties, Inc. (NYSE: VICI), Bally’s Corporation, formerly Twin River Worldwide Holdings, has additionally agreed a deal to acquire Las Vegas-based sports betting technology company Bet.Works for $125 million, while also securing a long-term strategic partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group.
Upon completion of the Bet.Works deal, the business will be restructured into two individual operating divisions, with Bally’s Casinos responsible for the company’s physical gaming and entertainment properties, and Bally’s Interactive to encompass all of Bet.Works’ sports betting operations, including new and existing sports betting and iGaming contracts.
Currently, the firm [Bet.Works] is the sports betting platform provider for operators in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana and Colorado. The acquisition will see Bally’s Corp. take ownership of the provider’s proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions, including marketing, operations, customer service, risk management and compliance tools.
Through the deal, the operator aims to become “the premier, full-service, vertically integrated sports betting and iGaming company in the US”, using the solutions to power both proprietary and third-party offerings.
Described by Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors Soo Kim as the “next step” in the “company’s evolution,” the acquisition will see the operator’s casino portfolio significantly expanded. After all pending transactions are finalized, the firm’s network will comprise 14 casinos across 10 states.
“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 US gaming company committed to serving our customers with an omni-channel approach, combining the best of our physical properties with a superior online experience.”
Evolving product suite:
Expected to close during the first quarter of 2021, the transaction will consist of 50 percent cash and the remaining 50 percent in Bally’s common stock, which shareholders of the Rhode Island-based Bet.Works have reportedly agreed to hold for a year minimum.
President and Chief Executive Officer for Bally’s Corporation, George Papanier, commented…
“We are very excited to welcome Bet.Works to the Bally’s family. Owning Bet.Works’ superior technology platform will not only give Bally’s a long-term margin advantage online, but, more importantly, will also allow us to evolve our interactive product suite to go where sports betting and iGaming customers are headed quickly.
“David Wang and his team at Bet.Works have already demonstrated impressive growth and the ability to execute while creating a differentiated platform. We are very pleased to bring this technology to our more than 14 million active customers who will experience Bally’s Casinos and Bally’s Interactive as a unified brand with a single player card and rewards system.”
Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Bet.Works, David Wang, will serve as the CEO of Bally’s Interactive upon finalization of the transaction. The new operating division will integrate Bet.Works’ team of 130-plus employees across three offices, including some 90 engineers, into its interactive operations. Also in the works, Bally’s Interactive plans to open a Rhode Island-based technology development center by the end of 2021.
“We are pleased to be joining the Bally’s family, which has demonstrated a remarkable track record of growth and diversification with a proven management team. We remain committed to creating the world’s best sports entertainment products, as well as delivering innovative and exciting solutions for sports betting and iGaming consumers across Bally’s national footprint.
“Bet.Works will continue to offer our best in class solutions to our existing B2B clients and our future partners in the U.S. market as we expand our reach into newly regulated states. Our turnkey solutions, which include Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, Risk Management and Compliance, combined with our dedicated launch teams, will ensure we maintain a leading position in the B2B sector while powering Bally’s Interactive. Bally’s is the perfect home for Bet.Works as it will allow us to continue to grow and innovate.”
The current mergers and acquisitions drive has also seen the company acquire Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino from Caesars Entertainment Inc. and Vici Properties, Inc., while also agreeing a $20 million deal that will see it acquire the worldwide rights to the Bally’s name. Bally’s also received three sports betting and five iGaming skins in New Jersey as part of the $25-million purchase and plans to open a retail FanDuel Sportsbook inside the Boardwalk property by the end of the year.
Sinclair Broadcast Group:
In related news, Bally’s Corp. will reportedly pay Sinclair Broadcast Group $85 million over the next 10 years for the branding rights of its 21 regional sports networks (RSNs). The deal will give the company exclusive access to fans of 42 major teams, including the Detroit Tigers, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Kansas City Royals, according to a source.
The broadcast company will also reportedly receive a 15 percent stake in Bally’s and will have the right to increase its stake by another 15 percent if it hits certain financial targets.
President and Chief Executive Officer for Sinclair, Chris Ripley, said…
“Since acquiring Tennis Channel a few years ago and the RSNs last year, we have been working on developing an innovative experience that changes the way people think about and view live sports across all our platforms. Bally’s, with its strong brand name, premier sportsbook technology platform and expansive market access, is the perfect partner to help us change the paradigm of sports viewing across all our assets.”