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Bally’s acquires US’s leading beach volleyball league


Bally’s Corporation has acquired the US’s premier professional beach volleyball organisation as the latest action within its diversification strategy.

The gaming group said the purchase of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), which operates the longest-running domestic beach volleyball tour in the US, represents the latest step in its ongoing omni-channel growth and diversification strategy.

Bally’s said the acquisition provides a significant opportunity to gamify and incorporate interactive content into the sport, which, in turn, will drive traffic to its own platforms and promote customer acquisition.

Under the terms of the transaction, Bally’s acquired all of AVP’s assets, including trademarks and AVP America promoter agreements, and all proprietary tournament and league management software.

Bally’s said it plans to leverage AVP’s distribution channels, as well as the Sinclair-owned Bally Sports regional sports networks (RSNs), to increase consumer engagement with, and awareness of, the league.

Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s senior vice-president of strategy and interactive, said, “The AVP is an attractive asset that complements our rapidly expanding US sports betting vision. Donald [Sun] and the entire AVP team have done a tremendous job developing the league and transforming it into what it is today, and we look forward to exploring creative ways to amplify and gamify such a dynamic and high-growth sport, providing beach volleyball fans across the nation with unique and interactive content.”

The acquisition is the latest in a busy period for Bally’s, which has also purchased fantasy sports operator Monkey Knife Fight and tech supplier Bet.Works in recent months, while its acquisition of UK-based operator Gamesys is set to close soon after both operators’ shareholders backed the deal.

Donald Sun, former owner and chief executive of AVP, said, “Forming a new relationship with a trusted, forward-thinking partner like Bally’s offers the opportunity to develop a strategic roadmap that will grow the sport, expand its footprint and provide new resources to better elevate the game and its athletes. I look forward to being an integral part of the transition, focusing on the best interests of all AVP athletes, fans, staff and partners.”

The AVP, which will kick off its 2021 AVP Pro Tour in Atlanta in August, has an estimated 120 million viewers worldwide.