After months of protracted negotiations and back and forth, the merger between Bally’s and Gamesys is finally about to be confirmed.
A date of October 1 has been agreed for the deal to be completed, and that will see the online casino and sportsbook operator join forces with the slots and table game developer.
The merger has secured regulatory approval from the UK Gambling Commission, while a court date on September 30 in the United States is also expected to go in favour of the deal, which would ensure the newly-created firm can operate on both sides of the Atlantic.
The £2 billion agreement was approved back in March and given the green light by shareholders in June, with the necessary due diligence and paperwork meaning that progress has been snail-paced at times with both firms keen to move forward in time for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Gamesys will be de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange by October 4, with a new issue of Bally’s shares taking place on the same day.
They will essentially swallow up Gamesys and welcome them into their global operation, with a particular focus on the burgeoning North American market a likely focus in 2022 and beyond. The developer, established in the UK, will provide their tech to Bally’s as they launch a number of new gambling products – as well as reinvigorating their existing platforms – in the months ahead.
“This combination represents a compelling opportunity to integrate Gamesys’ market-leading gaming technology with Bally’s growing US gaming platform, to create a vertically integrated company that is poised to capitalise on the rapidly expanding US online sports betting and igaming market,” so said Lee Fenton, the CEO of Gamesys, when details of the merger were revealed back in the spring.
Bally’s: US Casino and Resort Operator
Originally founded in 2014 as BLB Investors, the operation now known as Bally’s has been making great strides ever since.
They went through another name change in 2011 – this time to Twin River Worldwide Holdings – before they were able to acquire the Bally’s brand from Caesars Entertainment. Presumably, this is a moniker that will stick.
Bally’s Corporation is a heavyweight in bricks-and-mortar casino gaming and sports betting in the United States, owning 16 casinos across eleven different states, a horse racing track in Colorado and with plans for further expansion in both fields in the months ahead.
They have started their expansion into the online sphere as well, acquiring brands like the sports betting platform Bet.Works, daily fantasy provider Monkey Knife Fight and the free-to-play prediction game SportCaller.
The deal with Gamesys will mark their first major step into online casino gaming, with Bally’s acquiring all of the developer’s share capital via their own subsidiary, Premier Entertainment.
Gamesys: UK Online Gaming Software Developer
It’s exactly 20 years since the formation of Gamesys in a small office in London – the merger with Bally’s acting as the perfect anniversary gift.
Starting life as a pure development firm, Gamesys create slots and other online casino games along with the software to power brands such as Jackpot Joy, Vera & John and Monopoly Casino.
As more success came their way, Gamesys started making acquisitions of their own, and made industry headlines when they negotiated the purchase of Virgin Games from Richard Branson in 2013. A year later, they launched Virgin Casino on both sides of the pond.
The merger with Bally’s marks their first major foray into the US market under their own name, and the partnership with the huge operator will ensure their software is adopted by millions of players across North America.
Eating Up Their Share
This is a merger designed to further the interests of both parties – rather than a hostile takeover that benefits one much more than the other.
Representatives of Bally’s are on record as stating their belief that their market share will greatly improve with the assistance of Gamesys, who will provide the technical foundations for their expansion into online casino gaming.
The firm’s chairman of the board, Soo Kim, believes the deal will mark the next step in Bally’s growth.
He said: “By combining with Gamesys, we will meaningfully accelerate our growth strategy to become a premier, global, omni-channel gaming company, which we believe will create significant long-term shareholder value.”
Meanwhile, for Gamesys, the opportunity to link-up with a brand that is fast becoming a household name in America was too good to turn down. The development firm will get access to the key gambling states, pushing their product both online and via integration in Bally’s physical casino properties.
Expected to pass all of the necessary monopolies checks, Bally’s and Gamesys combined will still take a huge chunk out of the gambling market in the United States.