On the same day as it announced fourth quarter and full year 2020 results, Rhode Island-based gaming company Bally’s Corporation (BALY:NYSE) formerly Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc., revealed a multiyear agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
While it’s not exclusive, according to Bally’s the arrangement allows it to use the NBA‘s “official mark and logos” in its online sports betting products while also giving it the ability to access “official league data.”
The strategic partnership, which makes the land-based casino and racetrack owner an authorized sports betting operator of the professional basketball league is the second such deal for the company after announcing its official sports betting partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL) on February 18, 2021.
Betting and fantasy sports for the two leagues is being overseen by gaming platform and daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator, Monkey Knife Fight, along with global B2B free-to-play game provider, SportCaller, and sports betting platform supplier, Bet.Works. The company owns the trio, having acquired the first two this year in January and February respectively, and the latter in November 2020 when it also secured a long-term partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group.
President and Chief Executive Officer for Bally’s Corporation, George Papanier declared the new alliance with the NBA “an exceptional opportunity for Bally’s, adding to our ongoing momentum with professional sports leagues.”
Meanwhile, in its March 2, 2021, reported financial results (pdf) for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2020, Papanier called 2020 “a truly remarkable year” for the company, which was trading up 7.27 (13.90%) at $59.57 as of 4pm Friday.
Included in the report, are the previously mentioned acquisitions of Bet.Works, Monkey Knife Fight and SportCaller and the media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, which Papanier called “the highlights of the fourth quarter,” as well as closed acquisitions of Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino in November and Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport from Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: CZR) in December last year, and the addition of FanDuel Sportsbook to its Boardwalk property.
Optimistically, the CEO said the company expects “to benefit from a strong rebound in demand across our properties, as well as the operational efficiencies and strong margin improvements that we have seen as a continuing trend since re-opening from the pandemic.” He added that both “market indications and preliminary results show markedly stronger consumer demand in January and February.”
Allied Esports proposition:
Also making the news, earlier Friday the casino and racetrack operator offered to buy Nasdaq-traded Allied Esports Entertainment for $100 million. The proposal from Bally’s competes with the California-based esports entertainment company’s January 2021 agreement with privately-held investment vehicle Element Partners to sell all of the equity interests of Allied subsidiary Club Services, Inc., which is responsible for the company’s poker-related business and assets, including WPT Enterprises, Inc. (World Poker Tour).
The $78.25 million WPT transaction was approved by Allied Esports’ board of directors and was expected to close in late January or early February this year, according to a recent report.
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