Bally’s Goes All-In On Sports Betting With Bet.Works Acquisition, Sports Channel Naming Rights

Posted on November 19, 2020

Bally’s Corporation has acquired sports betting platform supplier Bet.Works for $125 million as the company goes all in on sports betting and online gambling.

Bally’s was rebranded from Twin River earlier this week after acquiring the brand name and the Bally’s property in Atlantic City.

It also changed its stock ticker from TRWH to BALY.

And its first move under the new name was the Bet.Works acquisition to power the coming launch of Bally Bets. It will also get the naming rights to more than 20 regional sports networks in a separate deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

The details of the Bally’s deal for Bet.Works

Bally’s will pay half of the $125 million purchase price in cash and half in common stock. Bet.Works shareholders have agreed to hold their stock for at least a year.

According to Bally’s, the deal will give it a “suite of advanced omni-channel products….that will enable it to deliver unrivaled sports betting and iGaming offerings to customers on a national scale.”

Following the deal, Bally’s will form a retail arm for its properties and an interactive arm for sports betting and iGaming.

The interactive arm will cover both business to business and business to consumer, including Bet.Works’ existing contract with TheScore. TheScore betting app recently ranked sixth out of 16 in an Eilers & Krejcik review of NJ sportsbook apps.

Bet.Works CEO David Wang will become CEO of the Interactive division. The company aims to launch sports betting in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa by Q2 2021.

Natural evolution for Bally’s

“This is the next step in our company’s evolution,” said Soo Kim, Bally’s chairman.

“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 omni-channel approach, combining the best of our physical properties with a superior online experience.”

The company has more than 14 million active customers.

New tech hub in Rhode Island

Wang added: “Bally’s is the perfect home for Bet.Works as it will allow us to continue to grow and innovate.”

Bet.Works’ has more than 130 employees across three offices, including approximately 90 engineers.

Bally’s Interactive will open a technology development center in Rhode Island by the end of 2021, initially with 25 employees. Bally’s is based in Rhode Island and will own 14 casinos across 10 states once all pending transactions are completed.

Bally’s to take over Fox RSNs

In a separate deal, Bally’s announced an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to rename the 21 Fox Regional Sports Networks to Bally’s Sports.

Bally’s will also integrate content into the 190 television stations that Sinclair owns or operates.

According to the New York Post, that deal is worth $85 million over a 10-year period.

Bally’s did not specify a dollar amount, but said Sinclair will receive annual naming rights fees and committed a percentage of Bally’s Interactive’s marketing spend.

To ensure strategic alignment, Sinclair will also receive penny warrants to acquire 14.9% of Bally’s common shares. It will have further warrants to purchase up to 10% of Bally’s common shares based on various performance metrics.

The RSNs host 95% of all live tennis in the US, as well as 42 teams from major US sports leagues.

“This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the US sports betting, gaming and media industries,” said Bally’s chairman Soo Kim.

“Sinclair, with its broad holdings of stations, channels and RSNs, provides immediate, national brand recognition that will support the development of Bally’s player database for both our traditional casinos as well as our future online offerings, and ultimately deliver significant shareholder value.

Photo by Seth Wenig / The Associated Press
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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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