Bally’s inks market access deal to launch betting app in Iowa

Bally’s has inked a market access agreement with Elite Casino Resorts for sports betting in Iowa.

The US land-based and online gambling operator, Bally’s corporation, has inked a multi-year market access agreement with Elite Casino Resorts to launch mobile sports betting in Iowa.

The market access agreement comes after Bally’s announced an agreement to acquire the US sportsbook technology supplier Bet.Works. The supplier provides products, platforms, content solutions and software to operators in several states as well as Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa.

The market access agreement

The deal, which was announced earlier this week, will see Bally’s operate under one of the online skins that belong to Elite’s Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort in Larchwood, Iowa.

With a master licence in Iowa, an operator can offer two online skins, which will allow Bally’s to launch its online sports betting product in Iowa via Elite’s betting licence. The licensees’ other online skin was allocated to the Bet.Works-powered Elite Sportsbook, which launched when Iowa’s sports betting market went live last year.

Bally’s is currently working on acquiring land-based venues in several other states including Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana and Nevada, and once the deals are finalised, Iowa will mark the operator’s eleventh state where it operates.

Bally’s expansion into Iowa marks the operators’ first market entry into a state where it does not own a land-based venue. While the operator normally prefers to enter markets via its own land-based portfolio, Bally’s said market access agreement such as this work as a good solution to a rapidly changing market.

Bally’s Corporation president and chief executive George Papanier said: “We are delighted to partner with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa. 

“We currently operate sportsbooks in Rhode Island, Colorado, Delaware, Mississippi, and soon will be in Atlantic City. Entering the Iowa gaming market with our new, integrated sports betting and igaming company is very exciting and we look forward to the launch in 2021.”

Bally’s to acquire Bet.Works

The news of the Iowa market access deal comes after Bally’s outlined plans to acquire Bet.Works for $125m. 

Under the deal, Bally’s will take ownership of Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions, as well as marketing, customer service, risk management, operations and compliance tools.

Bally’s aims to use the deal to become “the premier, full-service, vertically integrated sports betting and igaming company” in the US gambling space.

The casino operator will fund half of the price with cash and the other half with Bally’s common stock, which Bet.Works shareholders have agreed to hold on to for at least a year. Bally’s expects the deal to close in the first quarter of 2021, pending regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

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