International edition
October 19, 2021

After Bally's-Gamesys merger

Bally's new CEO intends to use UK sports TV show format to promote the brand in US

Bally's new CEO intends to use UK sports TV show format to promote the brand in US
Lee Fenton, Bally's Corp. new CEO, in a recent interview with CNBC.
United States | 10/12/2021

Starting with similar programming to UK's "Soccer Satuday", Lee Fenton looks to promote Bally's sports betting business in the US, and assures that the company has "that opportunity on steroids to do that kind of content". The data-driven strategy could also involve a rebranding and a potential reconstruction of the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas, which the company is about to acquire.


ally’s Corp. new CEO Lee Fenton intends to import more of the skills learned in online betting overseas to the US market, starting with a similar programming to UK’s “Soccer Saturday” as he looks to promote the company’s sports betting business in the Northamerican country. 

Fenton took over his new role on October 1, after previously serving as Gamesys CEO. “We have that opportunity on steroids to do that kind of content. We can create that kind of programming and that kind of interest to feed people”, Fenton said last week at an interview during the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, as reported by Bloomberg

“Soccer Saturday'' appears on Sky Sports, and has been parodied on the Apple TV+ show “Ted Lasso”. The show consists of a host and four pundits discussing games. 

Fenton spoke about “Double Bubble”, an online slot machine game the company developed. After noticing a core group of fans kept returning to play it, Gamesys began promoting the game more heavily to like-minded consumers and turned it into a hit. “We let that data guide us and direct us. That’s why I think we’ve been successful in the online space. That’s the dream and that’s what we’re here to do”, Fenton said. 

Lee Fenton executive took over the position at Bally’s following its $2.7 billion merger with UK-based Gamesys Group. Having closed this week, the deal unites a large European online betting house with Bally’s, which owns 14 casinos in 10 states.

Under its largest shareholder, Standard General LP, Bally’s acquired a string of casinos from Nevada to New Jersey, as well as online betting businesses. Last year, the company signed a deal with Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc to put its Bally brand on 19 regional sports TV networks and collaborate on programming. 

As Standard General’s managing partner and Bally’s Chairman, Soo Kim, said during the same interview at G2E, “we did our shopping early”, as now others in the gambling industry are chasing similar deals between online betting firms, land-based casinos and media companies. 

Kim also said changes in the works at Bally’s could include a rebranding and a potential complete reconstruction of the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas, which Bally’s is in the process of acquiring. “We’re going through all the choices. Do we renovate? Do we start over?”, he said. 

Shares of Bally’s have risen 5% this year. The combined Bally’s and Gamesys had about $1.4 billion in 2020 revenue.

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