Bally Bet Rollout Paused For Gamesys Acquisition

Posted on August 10, 2021
Bally Bet
Posted By on August 10, 2021

The Bally Bet app is live in two states, but do not expect any more until the back end of the fourth quarter or later.

Bally’s is waiting for its nearly $3 billion acquisition of UK-focused Gamesys to build out its Bally Bet offering, management said on Monday’s earnings call. Bally’s announced that purchase in late March and expects it to close in October or November.

The tech team at Bally’s shifted resources from focusing on more state launches to preparing to integrate that Gamesys tech quickly, said senior VP of strategy and interactive Adi Dhandhania. That integration will lead to the 2.0 version of Bally Bet, which will then start to hit other states.

The app is only live in Colorado and Iowa for now, and is not supported by an advertising push.

Bally Bet bids in New York

One topic not touched on in Monday’s conference call was the bid involving Bally Bet submitted in New York.

Bally Bet would join BetMGM, DraftKings Sportsbook, and FanDuel Sportsbook in a four-skin, likely two-platform bid.

Bally’s declined to comment on its bid to be one of at least four online NY sportsbooks.

No gigantic investments incoming for Bally Bet

Bally’s interactive division reported about $6 million in revenue for the second quarter. That led to slightly negative EBITDA, CFO Steve Capp said.

Revenue should continue to grow significantly quarter over quarter, the company said. Those EBITDA losses will continue to grow as well, though, as more investment ramps up.

Those investments “will not be anywhere close to the levels of our peers,” Capp said. He later brought up some of Bally’s peers mentioning $1 billion in investment, which is what Caesars pledged through 2024.

Bally’s already has a lot of what others are investing in, Capp explained:

  • Backend technology through the Bet.Works acquisition
  • Frontend technology through the pending Gamesys acquisition
  • Database of land-based customers from Bally’s retail casinos
  • Exposure to the Bally’s brand from its Bally Sports-branded regional sports networks from Sinclair

Still some to come though

Bally’s will have to continue investing into its interactive segment despite those positives, Capp added.

The company expects to burn $10 million through the back half of this year. That could rise to around 10% of Bally’s 2022 pretax cash flow, he said.

Capp made it clear those are the current plans and did not want to speak for Bally’s new incoming CEO, current Gamesys CEO Lee Fenton.

Learnings from Bally Bet beta launches

Despite no advertising and just a few months of operation, Bally’s is happy with what it is learning so far in Colorado and Iowa.

The CO sports betting focus has been on Bally’s database of land-based casino patrons in the state, as well as the Monkey Knife Fight database.

The focus for sports betting in Iowa has been on the impact of the Bally Sports-branded RSN.

“It’s early days but we’re seeing good numbers in terms of impressions that are generated,” Dhandhania said of Iowa. “We will track conversions coming out of the TV impressions that are being created in Iowa.”

Bally’s continues to get strong feedback on those Bally Sports RSNs, as well as the recently launched Bally Sports app, he added.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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