Bally’s Makes Move to Acquire Monkey Knife Fight
Picking up where it left off in 2020, Bally’s Corporation continues to make bold moves to strengthen its current and future standing in the gaming industry.
Formally known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., this Rhode Island-based gaming company rebranded itself as Bally’s Corporation after buying the right’s to the name from Caesars Entertainment. The company also closed on the purchase of Bally’s Atlantic City around the same time.
Moving forward into 2021, Bally’s Corporation just announced the purchase of Monkey Knife Fight as the fastest growing daily fantasy sports site in the US and Canada. This is currently the third biggest fantasy sports site in North America behind DraftKings and FanDuel.
The total deal is worth an estimated $90 million through an all-stock transaction according to a recent company press release. The significance of this deal is Bally’s expansion into this gaming vertical. It now becomes the third US sports betting company to also have a fantasy sports component.
Monkey Knife Fight became an attractive addition for a number of reasons. Last year, SponsorUnited ranked MKF as the six-most searched site in the sports and entertainment industry. It was also pegged as the 10th-fastest growing brand.
Along with a regular lineup of daily fantasy sports leagues, MKF offers video game contests to attract a younger segment of gamers as a core demographic (learn how to bet on esports). This fits in perfectly with Bally’s expansion and diversification strategy.
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The long-term goal is to become the “first truly vertically integrated sports betting and iGaming company in the US with a B2B2C business model” according to company’s recent press release covering this announcement.
A previous strategic partnership geared towards this objective involved Sinclair Broadcast Group. Bally’s Corp also has a pending deal to acquire Bet.Works and its proprietary industry technology suite of sports betting products.
George Papanier is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corp. He was quoted in the release as follows:
“With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth DFS market. Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms.”
He went on to add:
“As with all of the properties and services that fall under the iconic Bally’s brand, we are committed to providing a best-in-class DFS platform to sports fans around the country. The MKF acquisition will allow Bally’s to leverage both its current customer database as well as DFS’s collection of depositing players. These assets will also provide Bally’s with a significant advantage in launching its own B2C sports betting operations.”
Currently, MKF has more than 180,000 players registered with 80,000 making deposits into an online account. As part of Bally’s Interactive Division, the site will offer a user-friendly gaming platform that can contribute to growing the company’s overall player base.
MKF geographic presence spans 37 different states plus the District of Columbia in the US market. It also has a business presence in parts of Canada.
Company officials hope to complete the purchase by the end of the first quarter of 2021 subject to the closing conditions tied to this deal.