Bally’s Agrees to Merger with UK Gaming Company Gamesys

Bally’s Agrees to Merger with UK Gaming Company Gamesys

Bally’s, which has been active recently in mergers and acquisitions, along with sports betting partnerships, on Wednesday announced an agreement in principle on key terms of a possible merger with Gamesys.

The deal with the UK-based gaming company is reported to be worth about $2.75 billion and the merger, if completed, would capitalize on the growing online gaming and sports betting markets in the U.S., according to a news release.

“We believe that this combination would mark a transformational step in our journey to become a leading integrated, omni-channel gaming company with a B-2-B-2-C business,” Bally's chairman Soo Kim said in a news release. “We think that Gamesys' proven technology platform alongside its highly respected and experienced management team, combined with the U.S. market access that Bally's provides, should allow the combined group to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in the U.S. sports betting and online markets.

“We are truly excited about the opportunities that this combination would offer and the enhanced and comprehensive experience and product offering that it would enable us to offer our customers.”

Gamesys is known for its online casino and bingo games. The combined group would be headquartered in Rhode Island and its shares would retain their listing on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Bally’s trades under BALY on the NYSE.

“From our first meeting to now it has been the entrepreneurial energy of the two businesses that has brought us to the edge of creating a uniquely powerful company,” Gamesys chief executive officer Lee Fenton said in the release. “Our shared passion and vision to capitalize on technology disruption to better serve our customers, wherever they may be, should make for an exciting journey for our employees, customers and shareholders alike.”

Fenton would become the CEO of the combined group and two Gamesys directors would join Bally’s board. George Papanier, chief executive of Bally’s, would stay on the board after the merger and oversee Bally’s land-based casinos.

In its fourth-quarter earnings announcement earlier this month, Bally’s reported net income of $20.2 million in the quarter. Net income in the 2019 fourth quarter was $13.4 million. The company said it had net income of 61 cents on a per-share basis, better than Wall Street expected, with earnings (adjusted) coming in at 39 cents a share.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings purchased the iconic Bally's brand previously owned by Caesars Entertainment in October and rebranded as Bally’s.

Bally’s Making Moves

Last week, MLB announced that Bally’s would be an authorized gaming operator. The deal gave Bally’s access to official league and team marks, logos and data, which it intends to use across its sports betting products, according to a news release. Bally's will also include these into content that will be integrated into live MLB game coverage its 19 regional sports networks that account for more than half of the U.S. MLB teams.

Bally’s has also announced partnership deals with the NBA and NHL since mid-February. The gaming company has been moving on a number of fronts in recent months — the acquisition of daily fantasy sports company Monkey Knife Fight and free-to-play games firm SportCaller among them — to bolster its U.S. gaming position.

Bally's online sports betting and iGaming offerings are powered by Bet.Works. Last November, Bally’s Corp. bought the sports-betting platform and acquired naming rights to the 19 regional sports networks of Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Currently, Bally’s owns and manages 11 casinos across seven states, a horse racetrack and 13 authorized OTB licenses in Colorado.After pending acquisitions are final — Tropicana Evansville (Evansville, Indiana), Jumer's Casino & Hotel (Rock Island, Iillinois), and MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa (Lake Tahoe, Nevada), as well as construction of a casino near State College, Pennsylvania — Bally's will own and manage 15 casinos across 11 states.

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