Bally’s Corporation has been making a lot of noise the last six months within the US legal sports betting scene. Tuesday marked just the latest good news for the relatively new national legal sports betting provider thanks to the announcement of a beta launch of their mobile sportsbook Bally Bet in the state of Iowa, aimed at the deployment, testing and refinement of the Bally Bet app.
Through a market access partnership with Elite Casino Resorts, which owns Grand Falls, Rhythm City, and Riverside Casino and Golf Resorts, Bally Bet made its debut Tuesday in one of the top small betting states in the nation, Iowa. This follows the launch of their first mobile sportsbook in Colorado in May and precedes what should be some aggressive expansion plans in the near future.
The Iowa Scene
Iowa, despite being small in population is a reliable jurisdiction for the US legal sports betting scene. Its mobile platform has been terrific since launch in August 2019, making it an attractive destination for Bally Bet and other online providers. Over the first five months of this year, Iowa’s mobile platforms were responsible for $598.8 million of the $687.8 million total state sports betting handle, or 85.7%. Since January, mobile betting has accounted for at least 80% of the state’s handle each and every month.
Iowa coincidentally is home to one of the 21 regional Fox sports networks that Bally’s currently owns and will use to promote the brand in the state. “We look forward to integrating Bally’s into Sinclair’s broadcast and digital programming in Iowa, providing Iowa sports fans with an engaging and creative sports betting experience, and continuing our work towards solidifying Bally’s as a leading retail sportsbook brand with the third greatest reach in terms of US legalised market access,” said Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s Corporation’s Senior Vice President, Strategy and Interactive.
What Bally Bet Brings to Iowa
Bally Bet brings the typical menu of legal sports betting options to Iowa along with the backing of one of the most iconic names in the US scene. According to a news release, Bally Bet will have “betting options for all major sports, in-app parlay games and integrated social features” for their users.
Bally Rewards program also comes along with its Iowa launch. By making bets through the Bally Bet app, customers will be able to earn points simply by placing bets on the app. Users will be able to redeem their points for gaming, dining, retail and other amenities at all of Bally’s casinos nationwide.
“By integrating Bally Bet with Bally Rewards, we will provide sports and gaming enthusiasts with an unmatched betting experience,” Adi Dhandhania said prior to the company’s Colorado launch.
Building an Online Brand
Bally’s certainly hasn’t been shy about their expansion deeper into the US legal sports betting market. Bally Bet is their newest product aimed at gaining a piece of the enormous mobile betting pie in the rapidly growing US legal sports betting space.
The company’s foray into the mobile betting realm started with the $125 million acquisition of US regulated sportsbook technology platform Bet.Works in November. It gives the company its own technology stack and allows Bally Bet to take real-money bets on a host of sporting events.
Other Recent Moves
This year, Bally’s became Authorized Gaming Operator of Major League Baseball and the NHL, completed purchases of Casino KC, Casino Vicksburg, Bally’s Atlantic City and Eldorado Shreveport in the second half of 2020 to bolster their presence.
Bally’s purchased the third largest DFS provider in the US, Monkey Knife Fight and took over operation of Sinclair Broadcasting and its 21 regional Fox sports networks as well as the other 190 Sinclair-owned stations. All moves were aimed at bolstering the Bally Bet brand and making it a viable Heavyweight name in the broader US scene.
“We are very excited to have achieved yet another milestone with the expansion of our mobile sports betting platform in Iowa,” said Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s Corporation’s Senior Vice President in a statement. “As a state that has embraced legalized sports betting since 2019, Iowa was an attractive market for Bally Bet.”
Iowa is just another piece of the puzzle for Bally Bet. Look for the betting brand to have an aggressive expansion plan and to be a factor in not only existing markets but the nine new ones that are hoping to launch by the start of the NFL season.
“We want to make sure we’ll building it properly for the long term,” Bally’s EVP of Strategy and Operations Marc Crisafulli said during a March earnings call. “So we have to see how those initial launches go and then we’ll start to layer in additional states beyond that. So you can expect a pretty ambitious program through 2022 as we bring all of those assets online.”