NHL Deal Marks Bally’s First Major League Sports Betting Partnership

  • Multiyear deal allows the company to use NHL’s official data across its sports betting products
  • It will also integrate content with live NHL game coverage via 19 regional sports networks
  • Senior NHL exec noted Bally’s “strong strategic vision” for its sports betting products
  • NHL deal is the latest in a series of fast, strategic moves towards a Bally’s sports betting empire
NHL logo on shirt
Bally’s has boosted its growing sports portfolio by adding the NHL as its first sports betting partner from the major US leagues. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Multiyear deal amid sports betting expansion

Bally’s Corporation has maintained its supercharged sports wagering expansion by inking a multiyear strategic sports betting partnership with the National Hockey League, (NHL). The deal clinched Bally’s its debut sports betting partnership with a major professional sports league.

Bally’s EVP strategy and operations Marc Crisafulli, who is also president of The Lincoln, Rhode Island-based casino company’s Twin River Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel brand, welcomed the news yesterday with a tweet:

Bally’s historic major US league sports betting link-up lands it multiyear usage rights for NHL marks and logos. It can also use the professional ice hockey league’s official data across its broadening portfolio of sports wagering products.

Bally’s impresses with strategic game plan

According to an official news release, an important dimension of the NHL deal is how Bally’s intends to leverage the league’s intellectual property to give its sports betting arm national brand exposure.

content for NHL fans, which will then integrate with live NHL game coverage across 19 regional US sports networks

Bringing its media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. to the table, the company will additionally produce content for NHL fans, which will then integrate with live NHL game coverage across 19 regional US sports networks.

The president and CEO of Bally’s Corporation, George Papanier, said in the news release that the NHL deal was integral to his firm’s strategic objective of becoming a major player in the online sports wagering and iGaming space. Papanier added that the NHL/Sinclair integration will pursue Bally’s vision “to transform how fans engage with their favorite hockey teams.”

NHL chief business officer and Senior EVP Keith Wachtel also noted Bally’s “strong strategic vision” for its sports betting products. He described Bally’s as “an ideal partner” for the NHL to increase engagement with its local and national fan database.

Significance of Sinclair, Bet.Works, Monkey Knife Fight

Bally’s aggressive expansion into sports betting reads as a series of quick-fire strategic purchases. On November 18, it signed a ten-year sports betting and iGaming partnership with Sinclair Broadcast. The deal gave Bally’s the right to rebrand Sinclair’s 21 FOX regional sports networks.

At the same time, Bally’s acquired Vegas-headquartered sports betting and iGaming supplier Bet.Works for $125m. The Bet.Works deal positioned Bally’s as a top full-service sports wagering and online gambling firm, with all the tools to deliver sports gamification content on a national scale.

The recent renaissance of Bally’s as an iconic North American gaming brand began in October 2020, when company chair Soo Kim’s Twin River Worldwide Holdings agreed to pay Caesars Entertainment $20m for the rights to the Bally’s Casino brand. Before the month was out, Twin River officially announced that it would be rebranding its corporate identity to Bally’s Corporation.

Next, on January 25, Bally’s agreed to acquire daily fantasy sports (DFS) brand Monkey Knife Fight (MKF). According to a previous Bally’s press release, MKF currently ranks as the third-biggest North American DFS operator behind DraftKings and FanDuel. The purchase of MKF positioned Bally’s as one of a select group of US sportsbook operators to also have a DFS string to their bows.

With the NHL partnership added to the mix, a Bally’s sports betting empire seems very much in the cards.

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