Bally’s Corp. has committed to spending $90 million on its Atlantic City property over the next five years. Bally’s sports betting ambitions appear to be much broader than just New Jersey, however.
The last week has been a busy one for the gambling company, as it announced an agreement to acquire Bet.Works, a US sportsbook technology platform provider. On the same day, Bally’s Corp. shared the details of a strategic partnership to put its branding in front of millions of sports fans around the country. The end goal is obvious.
Both deals come on the heels of the company completing the purchase of Bally’s AC from Caesars Entertainment.
More on Bally Corp’s sports betting push
To compete with the big boys in the NJ sports betting industry in the Garden State and beyond, Bally’s needed a platform. Check it off the list.
Bet.Works currently powers theScore Bet app that is live in New Jersey and several other US jurisdictions.
For cash and stock worth $125 million, Bally’s will make Bet.Works’ products its own.
“This is the next step in our company’s evolution,” said Soo Kim, chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s board of directors. “By combining our expanding national footprint of casinos, the recently acquired Bally’s brand and Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack, we have evolved in just a few short years from a regional casino operator into the first US gaming company committed to serving our customers with an omnichannel approach, combining the best of our physical properties with a superior online experience.”
A press release stated that Bally’s plans to split operations into two separate divisions, with one handling online products and the other focusing on retail casino business. The online division’s name will be Bally’s Interactive.
It’s unclear exactly when NJ online gamblers will have access to either product under Bally’s management. It’s also uncertain to what extent Bally’s will rebrand the platforms. The company doesn’t expect to actually close the transaction until early next year.
Whenever Bally’s does start pushing its online sports betting product, it will have a great chance to market it to sports fans. That’s the result of some more recent spending.
Bally’s buys RSN naming rights
This chain of events began years ago when Disney bought out 20th Century Fox. As part of the regulatory approval for that transaction, Disney had to sell off Fox’s 21 regional sports networks.
Last year, Sinclair Broadcasting purchased the entire lot. That gave the company rights to broadcast a multitude of sporting events in most of the United States.
For $85 million over the span of a decade, those networks will soon bear Bally’s name. The networks will all feature the name Bally’s Sports.
The companies plan to integrate Bally’s sports betting product directly into the broadcasts, going as far as to actually allow you to wager on an event using your television as you’re watching it. Here are some of the highlights of the strategic partnership:
- Sinclair and Bally’s will jointly market, design and integrate products on a state-by-state basis and deliver one-of-a-kind online gaming experiences.
- 21 Fox RSN brands will be rebranded using the Bally name.
- Bally’s will have premium integration opportunities across the Tennis Channel, the home of over 95% of all live tennis matches broadcast in the US, Sinclair’s 24/7 multiplatform sports network.
As it’s a naming rights deal and not an acquisition, it’s fair to assume Sinclair will still be free to sell advertising space to Bally’s competitors during broadcasts. Additionally, it’s yet uncertain what this will mean for Fox’s own sports betting platform, Fox Bet.
What’s clear, however, is the fact that Bally’s is all in on competing for sportsbook handle across the country. If it can maximize its deal with Sinclair, it has a good shot at gaining market share.