Casino operator Bally’s Corp. will pay $125 million to acquire technology platform Bet.Works, which currently provides sports betting capabilities to casinos in four states.
The transaction, which was announced late Wednesday, will allow the Rhode Island-based Bally’s to form two operating divisions, one to oversee the casino side and a second that will manage sports betting and igaming.
The purchase is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.
In a statement, Bally’s Chairman Soo Kim said the transaction converts the company from a regional casino operator to a business with “an omni-channel approach, combining the best of our physical properties with a superior online experience.”
In October, the company, then known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings, paid Caesars Entertainment $20 million for control of the Bally name, brand, and intellectual property. The corporate name change took effect on Nov. 9.
Bally’s will form “Bally’s Casinos,” which will include the casino properties, and “Bally’s Interactive,” which will include new and existing contracts for sports betting and igaming, including all of Bet.Works’ sports betting operations.
As part of Bally’s $25 million purchase of Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars Entertainment, which closed Wednesday, the company acquired three sports betting and five igaming skins in New Jersey.
According to a statement, half of the Bet.Works purchase price will be paid in Bally’s common stock, which Bet.Works shareholders have agreed to hold for at least a year.
Bally’s CEO George Papanier said the transaction would “allow us to evolve our interactive product suite to go where sports betting and iGaming customers are headed quickly.”
Bally’s currently has three deals in place to acquire a total of four resort-casinos in four states for a combined $755 million. Once finalized, Bally’s will operate 14 casinos in 10 states. Much of the portfolio will be rebranded as Bally’s properties.
Papanier said the acquisition of Bet.Works will allow Bally’s 14 million active customers to have a unified brand for both casinos and interactive gaming with both a single player’s loyalty card and a customer rewards system.
Bet.Works currently provides a sports betting platform to casino operators in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, and Colorado.
David Wang, the founder and CEO of Bet.Works, will serve as the CEO of Bally’s Interactive upon closing the transaction. Bally’s Interactive will integrate Bet.Works’ team of more than 130 employees across three offices, including approximately 90 engineers, into its interactive operations.
Bally’s Interactive also plans to open a technology development center in Rhode Island by the end of 2021, initially with 25 employees.
“We remain committed to creating the world’s best sports entertainment products, as well as delivering innovative and exciting solutions for sports betting and igaming consumers across Bally’s national footprint,” Wang said in a statement.
Also Wednesday, the New York Post reported that Sinclair Broadcast Group and Bally’s signed a deal for the broadcast group to rename its 21 sports networks Bally Sports.
Bally’s will pay Sinclair $85 million over a 10-year period for the naming rights, giving it exclusive access to fans of 42 major teams, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Detroit Tigers, the Tampa Bay Rays, and the Kansas City Royals.
Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.
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