Bally’s Back in Acquisition Mode, Buying Predictive Games Maker SportCaller

Posted on: February 8, 2021, 10:20h. 

Last updated on: February 8, 2021, 12:27h.

Bally’s Corp. (NYSE:BALY) is back at the acquisition altar, announcing today it’s buying free-to-play games provider SportCaller.

Bally's SportCaller
The sportsbook at Bally’s Atlantic City, seen here. The operator is buying SportCaller. (Image: Associated Press)

Financial terms of the transaction weren’t disclosed. Dublin-based SportCaller makes predictive, quiz/trivia, pay-to-play, bespoke, and turn-key app games. Clients include BetMGM, Coral, Entain, FanDuel, Paddy Power Betfair, Kindred, William Hill and Virgin Bet, among others, according to the company’s web site. The acquisition is an avenue for Bally’s to expand outside the US, which to date is the operator’s primary market.

SportCaller betting and media clients are located in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, North America and the UK. The company runs over 100 games in more than 20 languages spanning north of 30 sports in 37 countries.

Enhancing the potential of purchase for Bally’s is SportCaller’s exposure to the gaming software market. The company provides enterprise software, putting it in the fast-growing cloud computing space. That technology expertise will be a foundation for Bally’s rolling out its own roster of free-to-play games later this year.

Practical Purchase for Bally’s

Bally’s is one of the most acquisitive gaming companies and recent deal making by the operator proves it’s not content to stop at land-based casinos.

The SportsCaller purchase extends Bally’s push into interactive gaming and online sports betting, moves that were sped along through recent purchases of gaming technology provider Bet.Works and daily fantasy sports (DFS) outfit Monkey Knife Fight (MKF).

SportCaller complements Bally’s recently announced acquisitions of Bet.Works and Monkey Knife Fight, and its media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group,” according to Bally’s.

SportsCaller will be paired with Bet.Works to launch Bally’s free-to-play games this year. The gaming company paid $125 million in cash and equity to buy Bet.Works as part of an effort to become a vertically integrated firm.

The SportsCaller buy “will also allow Bally’s to leverage Sinclair’s media reach to expand its player database in states that currently do not permit sports betting, as well as generate excitement for Bally’s sports betting app,” said the casino company.

Putting Price Tag on It

Bally’s didn’t reveal the terms of the transaction for SportCaller.

But the Rhode Island-based gaming company filed an 8-K document with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) noting it’s paying $27.46 million in cash and issuing 221,391 shares of stock. Based on the Feb. 5 closing price, the equity component of the deal is worth $12.15 million.

Bally’s will also pay SportCaller another $13.73 million in cash if “certain post-closing performance targets” are met, according to the SEC filing.

Bally’s appears smart to use its stock as currency. The shares more doubled over the past 90 days and reside just seven percent below all-time highs.