Bally Bet is shutting down for a “few months” in order to shift from its own technology to Kambi‘s sports betting platform.
The BallyBet.com website now leads to a list of questions and answers about next steps. The earlier announcement of the B2B deal did not mention any substantial downtime for the app.
There will be no betting on Bally Bet after Thursday, June 30 except for in Arizona. All other customers have until June 30 to withdraw their funds or else Bally will mail a check to their address on file.
How long will Bally Bet be down?
According to the Bally Bet website, work to “elevate” the betting experience will take place over the “next few months.”
The relaunch will be on a state-by-state basis, according to an industry source. The first online launch is expected to be in Ohio in August, where the brand is partnered with the Cleveland Browns and has yet to launch.
A few in-person Bally Bet sportsbooks should relaunch before then. The press release announcing the deal in May said the switch should be done by the end of the year.
“… support the relaunch of Bally Bet – Bally’s online sports betting platform – which the Company expects to occur across seven states and at four retail gaming locations by the end of 2023. They will also enable Bally’s to expand its OSB presence globally over time.”
Most will have to sign up again
This switch will not just cost Bally’s the revenue-share dollars and other recurring fees the company hoped to avoid when it tried but failed to build out its own sports betting technology.
Customers other than those in Arizona will have to sign up again for Bally Bet accounts. The fact that some of the states could open after the start of the NFL betting season in September could hurt initial acquisition numbers.
Bally’s is likely hoping the calculated risk of shifting to a better platform will bring in potentially more customers than were active in May.
What does Bally Bet get with Kambi?
The multiyear agreement between Kambi and player account management tech provider White Hat Gaming will lead to a 3.0 buildout of the Bally Bet platform.
The operator will integrate its Bally Rewards into the online sports betting platform. It will also have improved marketing functions.
Bally’s also gets a variable cost structure, which will save the company money and reduce risk, it said. The fixed-cost structure was not viable given the lack of scale, which Bally’s CEO Robeson Reeves owned on the Bally’s first-quarter conference call.
Bally’s also has the option to acquire a limited online and in-person betting license of Kambi’s technology.
Bally Bet buildout missteps
Bally’s spent nearly $3 billion to build out Bally Bet and its supporting funnels to drive customer acquisition. There is little to show for that spending in the US at this point.
The company eventually wrote off nearly $400 million in costs during the fourth quarter. Much of that concerned the Bet.Works sportsbook platform and DFS operator MonkeyKnifeFight, which Bally’s shut down in February.
The mistakes led to then-CEO Lee Fenton stepping down in February, handing the reins over to Reeves, who called 2022‘s North American interactive results “unacceptable.”