RI’s Fastest Growing Company Has Made Nearly $800M in Acquisitions in Past 24 Months

Monday, November 23, 2020


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Marc Crisafulli, Bally's

No company in Rhode Island has gone on a buying spree like Twin River, now rebranded Bally’s.

While many in the gaming industry has been damaged by the coronavirus, Bally’s stock has now more than doubled in the past 12 months.

Last week the company announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Bet.Works, a U.S.-based sports betting platform provider to operators in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana and Colorado, for $125 million in cash and stock.


With the acquisition, Bally’s asserts it will become the premier, full-service, vertically integrated sports betting and iGaming company with physical casinos and online gaming solutions united under a single, preeminent brand.


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Bally's was an early player in Las Vegas

From 4 to 14

Marc Crisafulli on GoLocal LIVE said, “Two years ago we were four casinos in three states and we embarked on this kind of aggressive growth plan around the country so by this time next year we'll have 14 casinos in 10 states."

"So we're building a really nice national profile -- then we said all right, how is it that we bring all of these properties together -- we went out and acquired the Bally’s brand," he added. "You know, we have 14 million players in our databases for all these properties. We said all right so now we've got a brand to unify them we give them a single-player rewards card."





Tech Acquisition Allows Vertical Integration

The Bet.Works acquisition represents the latest step in Bally’s long-term growth, development and unification strategy.

Over the past two years, Bally’s has engaged in strategic and opportunistic expansion of its gaming and entertainment properties. The company recently acquired its "iconic" brand, which is synonymous with U.S. gaming and entertainment, and commensurate with the premier properties and amenities that define the Company’s portfolio.

“Sports betting is exploding nationally it's a market that could be $12 billion by 2025 [and it ] could be $50 billion by maturity and so we figured we want to really participate in that market, rather than [just] participating by doing a series of partnerships,” said Crisafulli.

Bally's is also working to close a deal with Sinclair to rebrand the media company's regional sports stations to the Bally's name with integrated programming.

The company is still waiting for Rhode Island lawmakers to take action on the deal for the lottery contract -- the company is in partnership with IGT for a 20-year extension. IGT has promised to secure more than 1,000 jobs over the length of the contract.


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Sinatra has a long relationship with Bally's

Complexity of Mergers and the Virus

While the acquisitions are impressive, merging multiple properties of unlike facilities together can be complex. Transforming cultures and retraining employees is difficult. Coupling that with an ongoing pandemic is an additional challenge. In Rhode Island, Bally's needs to close its two casinos on November 30.

Crisafulli said in a statement, “We respect the Governor’s decision to temporarily close our two Rhode Island casinos.  As we said at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued health and safety of Rhode Islanders must take priority.  To that end, we will temporarily close our doors at the Twin River Casino Hotel in Lincoln and the Tiverton Casino Hotel at 10:00 pm on Sunday, November 29th with the hope and expectation that circumstances will allow us to reopen two weeks thereafter."

"Nearly all of our salaried and hourly workforce will be furloughed upon closure and will be guaranteed their jobs as the facilities reopen," he added.

"We sincerely regret any inconvenience to our customers and importantly, to our employees who have done an incredible job of adhering to strict COVID protocols for the safety of our guests. That said, the State’s efforts to contain the COVID-19 virus are of critical importance and we are committed to doing all we can to contribute to that goal,” said Crisafulli.  

No company in Rhode Island has gone on a buying spree like Twin River, now rebranded Bally’s.

While many in the gaming industry have been damaged by the coronavirus, Bally’s stock has now more than doubled in the past 12 months.


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