Twin River’s rebrand to Bally’s is complete, and the new Bally’s just increased its brand presence exponentially. Bally’s Crop entered into an agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group to rebrand 21 Fox regional sports networks under the Bally’s name.
Under the deal, Sinclair said it would take a 14.9% stake in Bally’s and would have the right to raise its stake by another 10% if it meets certain financial targets.
Bally’s will gain marketing access across Sinclair’s 190 television stations, the two companies said in a joint statement.
The deal signals Bally’s (nee Twin River) interest in sports betting and online gambling.
“This arrangement represents an opportunity to revolutionize the U.S. sports betting, gaming, and media industries,” Bally’s chairman Soo Kim said in a statement. This will be “. . . positioning Bally’s to become one of the top U.S. sports betting and iGaming operators.”
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the networks are likely to rebrand to some version of Bally Sports, such as Bally Sports Midwest.
We’re the Other Fox
You may be asking why Fox Sports would sign an agreement with a sports betting operator not named FoxBet.
The reason is simple, Fox doesn’t own the regional Fox Sports Networks. Disney sold the regional Fox Sports networks to Sinclair Broadcast Group to facilitate the acquisition of Twenty First Century Fox in 2019.
The Resurrection of Bally’s
Bally’s is one of the oldest gaming brands, but it was believed that its best days were behind it.
The company has gone through many iterations in its nearly 90-year history. The company has been involved in manufacturing pinball machines, slots, and gaming equipment and has owned and operated everything from casinos to gyms.
The company has also changed ownership several times, including the 2005 acquisition by Harrah’s Entertainment, which would in turn be acquired by Caesars Entertainment.
Following the mega-merger of Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, the company has been offloading properties, as well as the Bally’s brand, which was purchased by Twin River in October.
At the time, I posited that “the Bally’s brand’s real strength could be on the online gambling front.”
Kim told the New York Post, the company planned to launch a Bally’s-branded sports-betting site, and that it was “an opportunity for us to revive a brand that is synonymous with American gaming.”
In the span of a month, Bally’s has upped its public profile considerably and is demonstrating it should be taken seriously on the sports betting and online gambling fronts.
As I previously mentioned on Twitter, do not underestimate this company: “Twin River is quietly a top casino in New England, competing with the likes of Foxwoods, Mohegan, and now Penn, Wynn, and MGM. Pretty impressive for a converted dog track… what they’ve managed to produce at the property is nothing short of amazing. Solid reinvestment and expansion over the years, and differentiation.”