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Bally’s to launch mobile sportsbook in Iowa through market access deal


Land-based and online operator Bally’s Corporation has agreed a multi-year market access partnership with Elite Casino Resorts, to launch mobile sports betting in the state of Iowa.

The deal will see Bally’s benefit from the presence of Elite’s Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort in Larchwood, Iowa, allowing sports fans in the state access to Bally’s mobile sportsbook through Elite’s license.

The partnership follows Bally’s recently announced agreement to acquire US-regulated sportsbook technology supplier Bet.Works, which provides products, platforms, software and content solutions to operators in multiple states, including Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa.

Under a master license in the state, operators can offer two skins, meaning that the B2C Bally’s branded offering will operate alongside the property’s existing Bet.Works-powered Elite Sportsbook.

Bally’s entered into a definitive agreement with Bet.Works earlier this month, to acquire the supplier in a deal worth $125m. The operator will take ownership of Bet.Works’ proprietary technology stack and turnkey solutions, including marketing, operations, customer service, risk management and compliance tools.

Once all pending land-based acquisitions are completed, which include further properties in Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana and Nevada, the market access agreement will mark Bally’s expansion into its eleventh state nationally.

Notably, expansion into Iowa will be the operator’s first market entry in a jurisdiction where it does not own a land-based casino property.

Although Bally’s generally prefers to enter jurisdictions via its own land-based portfolio, the operator said market access agreements such as the Elite deal were a good solution to a rapidly changing market that the company may use on occasion.

“We are delighted to partner with Elite Casino Resorts in Iowa,” Bally’s Corporation president and chief executive George Papanier said.

“We currently operate sportsbooks in Rhode Island, Colorado, Delaware, Mississippi, and soon will be in Atlantic City. Entering the Iowa gaming market with our new, integrated sports betting and igaming company is very exciting and we look forward to the launch in 2021.”

Publishing its financial results in October, Bally’s said limiting its third quarter revenue decline to 9.8% year-on-year represented a positive result, as it brought in $116.6m in revenue despite difficulties caused by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.