Bally's Corporation Completes Acquisition Of Monkey Knife Fight
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Bally's Corporation Completes Acquisition Of Monkey Knife Fight

Bally's Corporation Completes Acquisition Of Monkey Knife Fight

Bally’s Corporation has moved a step closer to realising its long-term growth and diversification strategy to become the first truly vertically integrated sports betting and iGaming company in the U.S. with a B2B2C business model by acquiring daily fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight (MKF).

The all stock deal, which was agreed in January, is worth $90 million. The acquisition makes Bally's only the third sports betting company in the U.S. to have a fantasy sports segment. 

 

An important milestone

George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally's Corporation, described the acquisition of MKF as an important milestone for his company.

He said following the acquisition, they were now “focused on integrating this unique asset into our Bally's Interactive division. Entering the daily fantasy sports market is an integral component of our omnichannel approach and an important milestone for our company as we continue our long-term diversification strategy.”

The Sports Pro Media website explained that as part of the transaction, MKF will immediately receive exercisable warrants to purchase approximately $50 million in Bally’s stock, as well as the right to buy another $40 million over the next two years.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of this year.

 

What Bally’s is getting

Bally’s will integrate MKF’s geographic presence in 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, with Sinclair’s portfolio of 19 regional sports networks to engage sports fans across the U.S with unique daily fantasy sports offerings. MKF will support Bally’s plans to develop a potential customer database in states that have not yet adopted sports betting but which are considered lucrative potential markets, including California, Florida and Texas,

MKF offers a distinctive and user-friendly platform that has approximately 200,000 registered users and 90,000 depositing players. This will contribute to Bally's growing player database and provide Bally’s with a significant advantage in launching its own B2C sports betting operations, a prepared statement explained.

Bill Asher, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MKF, said: "Since our inception, we have distinguished ourselves from competitors by providing the best experiences for our valued players, forming strategic partnerships with teams, ownership groups and players unions, and acquiring strategic assets to bolster our position in the market. I am immensely proud of all we have accomplished over the past three years at MKF and am confident that the talented Bally's team has what it takes to continue to grow and develop what is already a great business."

 

Bally’s deal-making spree

Bally’s has been on an acquisition spree of late as it moves to offer casino and online sports betting.

The company has recently acquired a casino in Atlantic City, it now has a media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group and has acquired Bet.works.

Bally acquired Bet.works, which operates a technology platform used by other sports books in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, and Colorado, for $125 million.

Following that acquisition, Bally's will launch its own online gambling app, which it will integrate with its 14 million member omnichannel rewards program. 

CEO George Papanier said the acquisition of Bet.works' technology will give Bally's a "long-term margin advantage."

Sinclair Broadcasting Group, on the other hand, said Bally’s strong brand name, premier sportsbook technology platform and expansive market access, made the company the “perfect partner to help us change the paradigm of sports viewing across all our assets. By integrating gamification elements that allow audiences a more personalized and interactive game experience, consumers of live sports in the future can look forward to a more dynamic and engaging sports viewing experience.”

The U.S. sports betting and iGaming market is expected to reach  about $50 billion at maturity and Sinclair hopes that the partnership with Bally’s perfectly positions the broadcasting group’s sports portfolio to fully capitalize on changing audience behavior.


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