Bally’s Reportedly Selling DFS Brand After Online Arm’s $428m Loss

  • The potential MKF sale follows a 2022 net loss of $428m for Bally’s interactive division
  • Bally’s expects its DFS brand to post a y-o-y decline of 36% in net gaming revenue
  • The incoming CEO said Bally’s is ready to divest underperforming North American assets
Sad man next to descending graph
Reports have emerged that the online division of Bally’s Corp is looking for buyers for its struggling Monkey Knife Fight brand as part of restructuring. [Image:]

Bally’s nightmare year

Just one month after Bally’s Corporation announced it will cut 15% of its Bally’s Interactive workforce after a nightmare year for the online division, the supplier’s restructuring knives are slashing again.

seeking buyers for its underperforming Monkey Knife Fight brand

News emerged Monday that the global gaming giant’s online division is reportedly seeking buyers for its underperforming Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) brand as part of restructuring efforts.

The decision, revealed by financial news firm Earnings + More, follows Bally’s preliminary 2022 earnings figures published Monday. The company revealed a staggering net loss of $428m through its North American online arm.

The news outlet cited an investment deck that revealed Bally’s intention to sell MKF in its entirety, including “the team, tech, licenses, payments and active user base.” 

Monkey business

Bally’s acquired the MKF brand in January 2021 amid great fanfare. For Bally’s chairman Soo Kim, MKF was a key part of the Rhode Island-based brand’s aim of becoming the US’s first truly vertically integrated online sports betting and online casino company.

Fast-forward to 2023 and that goal has become a proverbial albatross around Bally’s neck, with the firm expecting MKF to register a net gaming revenue of $4.7m for 2022. That equates to a year-on-year decline of 36%.

The prospective sale of MKF is the first major step in Bally’s efforts to stop the hemorrhaging at its interactive arm, which includes the Bally Casino brand and online sportsbook, Bally Bet.

The decision to divest MKF comes as Bally’s Q4 preliminary earnings report revealed a $390.7m “impairment charge,” which includes the entire investment in MKF, as well as Bet.Works Corp, a 2021 US online gaming buy that cost $125m.

Watch this space

On Monday, Bally’s also announced Robeson Reeves as the replacement CEO for outgoing Lee Fenton. Reeves confirmed the operator is ready to write-off underperforming North American assets as part of a broad restructuring effort.

The incoming CEO said in the Monday release of preliminary 2022 figures that “Simply put:

our North America Interactive results in 2022 were unacceptable.”

Bally’s expects to announce its final financials later this month. In addition to the potential sale of MKF, Bally’s announced in January it plans to reduce its US online workforce by 15% as part of a pivot towards core asset consolidation. At the same time, the company is also expected to throw its hat in the ring for a New York City casino license.

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