Bally’s Corporation Completes $2.72bn Acquisition of Gamesys Group

  • The acquisition has received the final approvals needed from shareholders and regulators
  • Bally’s hopes this acquisition will help it capitalize on significant online gambling opportunities
  • Former Gamesys CEO Lee Fenton is taking over as the Bally’s Corporation CEO
  • Bally’s has extensive US operations, including 14 casinos and an online sports betting brand
Bally's Atlantic City
Bally’s Corporation has gotten the final approvals needed to complete its $2.72bn acquisition of Gamesys Group. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Final seals of approval

Bally’s Corporation has completed its acquisition of Gamesys Group in a deal worth about £2bn ($2.72bn). The US-based gaming company announced on Monday that the deal had gotten the relevant approval from shareholders and regulators in order to take over UK-based Gamesys. As a result of this deal, Bally’s will turn into a global omnichannel gaming company.

Bally’s has been heavily focused on growth and diversification over the last 18 months. The Gamesys technology platform will now allow Bally’s to continue to develop its North American interactive offerings, including online sportsbooks and iGaming platforms.

one of the biggest portfolios of cross-selling, omnichannel opportunities

The unification of the Gamesys and Bally’s technologies and player databases will also give Bally’s one of the biggest portfolios of cross-selling, omnichannel opportunities when it comes to various forms of gambling. The hope is that this acquisition will help Bally’s to capitalize on major growth opportunities as the North American online gambling market rapidly expands.

Changing of the guard

Commenting on the completion of the acquisition was Bally’s board of directors chairman Soo Kim. He said: “We welcome the 1,800 members of the Gamesys team to the Bally’s family, and we welcome your strong technology capabilities and your proven international business acumen.”

Former Gamesys CEO Lee Fenton will now take over as the CEO of Bally’s Corporation, while previous Bally’s Corporation CEO George Papanier will serve as the president of retail for the company’s land-based casino business. Former Gamesys COO Robeson Reeves will now be the president of the interactive division. These three individuals, as well as a former non-executive director of Gamesys Jim Ryan, have been added to the Bally’s board of directors.

New CEO Lee Fenton said he is honored to “lead Bally’s in the next phase of our evolution.” He spoke about the business’ transformation from mainly acting as a regional casino operator into being an industry leader in iGaming, media, sports, and retail. Following the Gamesys acquisition, he said: “I look forward to delivering on the exciting opportunities ahead and continuing to create value for our shareholders, employees and customers in the years to come.”

The board of directors for both companies initially agreed to the merger in March 2021 before finalizing the terms in April. Shareholders then gave their seal of approval in June, as Bally’s pays $25.77 per Gamesys share. All of Gamesys shares on the New York Stock Exchange were delisted on Monday, replaced by new Bally’s shares.

Wide-ranging portfolio of gambling operations

Bally’s Corporation currently has extensive operations across the United States. It is the owner and operator of 14 casinos spanning ten states. This number is soon set to rise to 16 casinos in 11 states, as the company has committed to purchasing the Tropicana Las Vegas casino resort for about $150m and is in the process of building a land-based casino in State College, Pennsylvania.

It also has a horse racing track in Colorado, as well as access to online sports betting licenses across 15 states. In addition to now being the owner of Gamesys, it has Bally’s Interactive, which is a B2B2C sports betting division. The Bally Bet sports betting brand currently has sportsbooks live in Iowa and Colorado.

Other divisions include a rapidly growing daily fantasy sports offering in North America called Monkey Knife Fight and the global B2B provider of free-to-play games, SportCaller. Another recent major deal is the ten-year strategic iGaming and sports betting partnership Bally’s signed in November with Sinclair Broadcast Group worth a reported $85m.