Casino and gaming firm Bally’s Corporation has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Bet.Works, a sports betting platform provider to operators in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana and Colorado, for $125m, subject to adjustment. Half of the purchase price will be paid in Bally’s common stock, which Bet.Works shareholders have agreed to hold for at least one year.

Upon acquiring Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions, including marketing, operations, customer service, risk management and compliance, Bally’s stated intention is to become the premier, full-service, vertically integrated sports betting and igaming company in the US. 

The firm’s physical casinos and online gaming solutions will be combined under a single, preeminent brand, facilitating the launch of its B2B2C business model.

According to Bally’s, the Bet.Works acquisition represents the latest step in its long-term growth, development and unification strategy. Over the past two years, it has engaged in strategic and opportunistic expansion of its gaming and entertainment properties, which will include 14 casinos across 10 states once all pending transactions are completed. 

The deal will also furnish Bally’s with a suite of advanced omni-channel products, platforms, software and content solutions that will enable it to deliver sports betting and igaming offerings to customers on a national scale. The company said that it estimates that the US sports betting and igaming market will reach $2.6bn this year.

Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally’s Corporation’s Board of Directors, stated: “This is the next step in our company’s evolution. 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.”

Following the acquisition, Bally’s will form two distinct operating divisions. Bally’s Casinos will comprise the company’s physical gaming and entertainment properties, while Bally’s Interactive will encompass new and existing contracts for sports betting and igaming, including all of Bet.Works’ sports betting operations.

George Papanier, President and CEO of Bally’s Corporation, commented: “We are very excited to welcome Bet.Works to the Bally’s family. Owning Bet.Works’ superior technology platform will not only give Bally’s a long-term margin advantage online, but, more importantly, will also allow us to evolve our interactive product suite to go where sports betting and igaming customers are headed quickly. 

“David Wang and his team at Bet.Works have already demonstrated impressive growth and the ability to execute while creating a differentiated platform. We are very pleased to bring this technology to our more than 14 million active customers who will experience Bally’s Casinos and Bally’s Interactive as a unified brand with a single player card and rewards system.”

Wang, 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’ experienced team of over 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.

Wang stated: “We are pleased to be joining the Bally’s family, which has demonstrated a remarkable track record of growth and diversification with a proven management team. 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. 

“Bet.Works will continue to offer our best in class solutions to our existing B2B clients and our future partners in the US market as we expand our reach into newly regulated states. Our turnkey solutions, which include marketing, operations, customer service, risk management and compliance, combined with our dedicated launch teams, will ensure we maintain a leading position in the B2B sector while powering Bally’s Interactive. Bally’s is the perfect home for Bet.Works as it will allow us to continue to grow and innovate.”

Bally’s expects to close the transaction during the first quarter of 2021, pending regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.