ally's Corporation announced on Wednesday that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Bet.Works, a U.S. based, sports betting platform provider to operators in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana and Colorado, for $125 million, subject to adjustment.
Upon acquiring Bet.Works' proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions, which include marketing, operations, customer service, risk management and compliance, Bally's will become the premier, full-service, vertically integrated sports betting and iGaming company in the U.S. with physical casinos and online gaming solutions united under a single, preeminent brand, thus enabling it to launch its B2B2C business model.
Half of the Bet.Works purchase price will be paid in Bally's common stock, which Bet.Works shareholders have agreed to hold for at least a year.
The Bet.Works acquisition represents the latest step in Bally's long-term growth, development and unification strategy. Over the past two years, Bally's 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. In addition, Bally's recently acquired its iconic brand, which is synonymous with U.S. gaming and entertainment, and commensurate with the premier properties and amenities that define the Company's portfolio.
The Bet.Works acquisition, which complements these initiatives, will provide Bally's with a suite of advanced omnichannel products, platforms, software, and content solutions that will enable it to deliver unrivaled sports betting and iGaming offerings to customers on a national scale. According to investment research by major Wall Street analysts and management estimates, the U.S. sports betting and iGaming market is expected to grow to $12 billion by 2025 and reach $50 billion at maturity. Bally's estimates that the U.S. sports betting and iGaming market will reach $2.6 billion this year.
"This is the next step in our Company's evolution," said Soo Kim, Chairman of Bally's Corporation's Board of Directors. "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 U.S. 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," which will be comprised of Bally's physical gaming and entertainment properties, and "Bally's Interactive," which will include new and existing contracts for sports betting and iGaming, including all of Bet.Works' sports betting operations.
George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer 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."
David 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 U.S. 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.