In late March of this year, Bally’s Corporation tendered a $3 billion offer to buyout Gamesys. The acquisition of this UK-based online gaming operator was crucial to the company’s expansion plans. This primarily covered its plans to roll out mobile sports betting in the legal US market.
The tech team at Bally’s was tasked with using all the existing resources to develop a mobile sportsbook app. This included help from Gamesys online sports betting technology. The net result was the launch of Bally Bet as both a Colorado sportsbook and Iowa sportsbook.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year. However, current rollout plans for Bally Bets in other legal US markets have been impacted. The company recognizes the need to fully integrate the necessary Gamesys technology.
This would allow the tech team to fully build out the app to release a Bally Bet 2.0 version. The competition among legal online mobile operators in the US sports betting market is fierce. It would be hard to overestimate the importance of having the best mobile betting app possible.
Bally Bet was still able to join forces with heavyweights BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel in a superbid to secure a New York sportsbook spot. This was one of six bids received by the New York State Gaming Commission.
Steve Capp is the current CEO of Bally’s interactive division. He mentioned the delay in the company’s mobile sports betting rollout plans in a conference call to financial analysts earlier this month.
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This division reported revenue of $6 million for the second quarter of this year. This resulted in a slightly negative EBITDA.
The company believes that revenue should continue to grow slightly on a quarter-to-quarter basis. However, EBITDA will continue to be negative as the company ramps up its investment spending.
Those spending levels will remain well below most of the other legal US-based sportsbook operators in the market. Yet, Capp was quick to point out the positives the company will have in place.
The acquisition of Bet.Works covers Bally’s backend technology while adding Gamesys will cover the frontend tech.
Bally Bet already has a strong database of land-base customers tied to Bally’s retail casinos. Market exposure is also being driven by Bally Sports. This is part of a regional sports network tied to Sinclair Broadcasting.
Interestingly enough, Bally’s interactive division will have a new CEO in the coming months. Lee Fenton will fill that role as the current CEO of Gamesys.
Bally Bet mobile sportsbook launched in Colorado and Iowa with little fanfare behind a scale-downed marketing plan. This plan did not include any advertising or a large media spend. Despite the low-key approach, the company is satisfied with the early results.
In Colorado, the focus for growth has been on Bally’s existing database of land-based casino patrons in the state. This state also has a strong following for Monkey Knife Fight. The popular daily fantasy sports (DFS) was another Bally’s acquisition this year.
The focus in Iowa is tied to the Bally Sports regional sports network. This has aided player conversion efforts from TV impressions.