Busy Bally’s Closes $125m Bet.Works Deal to Beef Up US Growth

  • The casino company now owns Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions
  • Half of the total $125m acquisition price comes from Bally’s common stock
  • The transaction closure allows Bally’s to form two distinct operating divisions
  • Bet.Works CEO David Wang has now become CEO of Bally’s Interactive
  • Bally’s shareholders are set to vote on the $2.74bn Gamesys takeover deal on June 30
Bally's entrance sign Las Vegas
It’s a busy month for Bally’s, having closed its $125m acquisition of Bet.Works, formed two new operating divisions, and now awaiting shareholder voting on the Gamesys deal. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A productive month for the casino company

Bally’s Corporation has closed its $125 million acquisition of US sports wagering platform Bet.Works in what’s shaping up to be an ultra-productive month for the casino and gaming juggernaut.

The company first broke the news of the acquisition of Bet.Works – a sports betting platform provider to operators in Colorado, Indiana, and New Jersey – in November 2020.

With the June 1 takeover completion, Bally’s war chest now includes Bet.Works’ own-brand technology stack and turnkey solutions, which encapsulate marketing, customer services, operations, risk management, and compliance.

the only U.S. gaming and entertainment company providing customers with an omnichannel experience”

In a news release on Tuesday, Soo Kim, the chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s board of directors, highlighted the significance of the takeover and the transformation of the company “in just a few short years.” Bally’s is now “the only U.S. gaming and entertainment company providing customers with an omnichannel experience that combines a national portfolio of best-in-class properties with unmatched digital capabilities,” Soo Kim said.

Bally’s strategic pincer movement

The Bet.Works acquisition cost Bally’s $125m in total. Half of this sum comes from Bally’s common stock, “which Bet.Works shareholders agreed to hold for at least one year”, according to the June 1 press release.

The firepower now housed under a single, pre-eminent brand synonymous with American gaming is considerable. As a full-service, vertically integrated sports wagering, iGaming, and B2B2C entity with a portfolio of land-based casinos, Bally’s has a multidimensional digital and traditional market footprint that is still expanding.

The closure of the Bet.Works transaction allows Bally’s to now form a strategic business equivalent of a pincer movement, with two distinct operating divisions.

The company’s physical gaming and entertainment properties fall under Bally’s Casinos. Bally’s Interactive, meanwhile, will encompass all Bet.Works sports betting operations, in addition to leading daily fantasy brand Monkey Knife Fight and global B2B game provider SportCaller.

Plans are afoot, CEOs express confidence

In a news release announcing the launch of Bally Bet last week, Bally’s disclosed that the founder and CEO of Bet.Works, David Wang, will become the CEO of Bally’s Interactive once the acquisition closes, as it has now. 

extremely confident in the superior experience that our differentiated platform will provide to our more than 14 million active customers”

Wang said on Tuesday that his new-look firm looks forward to “further advancing the company’s sports betting and iGaming portfolio with new technological innovations.” Welcoming Wang and his team to Bally’s, president and CEO George Papanier said: “We are extremely confident in the superior experience that our differentiated platform will provide to our more than 14 million active customers.”

Tuesday’s news release also highlighted Bally’s Interactive’s plans to open a technology development center in Rhode Island by the end of 2021.

$2.74bn Gamesys deal awaits a shareholder vote

Completing a busy month for the Rhode Island-based company is a special shareholder vote scheduled for June 30. On the table is a deal to acquire UK casino and bingo operator Gamesys.

In March 2021, the boards of Bally’s and Gamesys agreed to a $2.74bn acquisition deal. Because Bally’s offered Gamesys shareholders the choice of cash or shares, Bally’s shareholders will need to first cast their vote to approve the issuance of new shares. Following the agreement in March, Kim spoke of a “transformational step”, with the Gamesys deal enabling Bally’s to capitalize on growth opportunities in the US sports betting and online markets.

A sign of Bally’s intent in this area is clear after last week’s beta launch of its Bet.Works-developed mobile sportsbook, Bally Bet, in Colorado, with three more states in the cards for 2021.