Bally’s Acquires Monkey Knife Fight as the Fastest Growing Daily Fantasy Sports Site In North America
In a huge move, Bally’s Acquires Monkey Knife Fight and Becomes the Third U.S. Sports Betting Company! Read the press release below!
PROVIDENCE, R.I., Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY) (the “Company”), a leading U.S. provider of land-based gaming and interactive entertainment, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Monkey Knife Fight (“MKF”), the award-winning, fastest-growing gaming platform and third-largest daily fantasy sports (“DFS”) operator in North America.
The all-stock transaction makes Bally’s just the third sports betting company in the U.S. to have a fantasy sports segment.
In 2020, MKF, which offers its loyal users a dynamic and creative slate of daily sports and e-sports contests, was ranked by SponsorUnited as the sixth most-searched and tenth fastest-growing brand in sports and entertainment.
Bally’s acquisition of MKF is the latest step in the Company’s long-term growth and diversification strategy to become the first truly vertically integrated sports betting and iGaming company in the U.S. with a B2B2C business model.
Importantly, it complements Bally’s recent media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group and its pending acquisition of Bet.Works, including its proprietary technology stack.
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“With this acquisition, we are pleased to enter into the high-growth DFS market. Monkey Knife Fight is a unique asset that we look forward to incorporating into Bally’s constantly growing omnichannel portfolio of land-based casinos and iGaming platforms,” said George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation.
“As with all of the properties and services that fall under the iconic Bally’s brand, we are committed to providing a best-in-class DFS platform to sports fans around the country.”
With approximately 180,000 registered users and 80,000 depositing players, MKF’s distinctive, user-friendly gaming platform will become an integral component of the “Bally’s Interactive” division, as well as contribute to Bally’s growing player database.
MKF will support Bally’s plans to develop a potential sports bettors database in states such as California, Florida and Texas, which are expected to account for 20-25% of U.S. sports betting revenues (according to Wall Street analyst research estimates).
It will also enable Bally’s to build a player database in Canada, a market that is expected to authorize sports betting in the near future. In addition, the acquisition will lead to Bally’s developing new and engaging content with MKF for its customers.
Papanier continued, “The MKF acquisition will allow Bally’s to leverage both its current customer database as well as DFS’s collection of depositing players. These assets will also provide Bally’s with a significant advantage in launching its own B2C sports betting operations.”
Additionally, Bally’s intends to combine MKF’s expansive geographic presence, which spans 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, with Sinclair’s significant media footprint, including its portfolio of 21 regional sports networks, to engage sports fans across the U.S by providing unique DFS offerings.
“Since our inception, we have distinguished ourselves from competitors by providing the best experiences for our valued players, forming strategic partnerships with teams, ownership groups and players unions, and acquiring strategic assets to bolster our position in the market,” said Bill Asher, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Monkey Knife Fight.
“I am immensely proud of all we have accomplished over the past three years at MKF and am confident that the talented Bally’s team has what it takes to continue to grow and develop what is already a great business.”
As part of the acquisition, MKF is set to receive immediately exercisable penny warrants to purchase up to approximately $50 million in Bally’s common shares (subject to adjustment) at closing, and (2) contingent penny warrants to purchase up to approximately $20 million in additional Bally’s common shares on each of the first and second anniversaries of closing, for a possible total of up to approximately $40 million.
The contingency relates to MKF’s continued operations in jurisdictions in which it operates at closing. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions.
Jones Day served as legal advisor to Bally’s Corporation. Shearman & Sterling and Stikeman Elliott served as legal advisors, and Canaccord Genuity served as financial advisor, to MKF.
About Bally’s Corporation
Bally’s Corporation currently owns and manages 11 casinos across seven states, a horse racetrack and 13 authorized OTB licenses in Colorado. With more than 5,900 employees, the Company’s operations include 13,260 slot machines, 459 game tables and 2,941 hotel rooms.
Properties include Twin River Casino Hotel (Lincoln, RI), Tiverton Casino Hotel (Tiverton, RI), Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (Biloxi, MS), Casino Vicksburg (Vicksburg, MS), Dover Downs Hotel & Casino (Dover, DE), Bally’s Atlantic City (Atlantic City, NJ), Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport (Shreveport, LA), Casino KC (Kansas City, MO), Golden Gates Casino (Black Hawk, CO), Golden Gulch Casino (Black Hawk, CO), Mardi Gras Casino (Black Hawk, CO), and Arapahoe Park racetrack (Aurora, CO).
Following the completion of pending acquisitions, which include Tropicana Evansville (Evansville, IN), Jumer’s Casino & Hotel (Rock Island, IL), and MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa (Lake Tahoe, NV), as well as the construction of a land-based casino near the Nittany Mall in State College, PA, Bally’s will own and manage 15 casinos across 11 states. Its shares trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BALY.”
About Monkey Knife Fight
Ranked as the third largest Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) company, Monkey Knife Fight’s (MKF) award-winning site is the fastest-growing gaming platform in North America.
MKF has achieved this explosive growth due to its unique, fun, and engaging style of mobile sports gaming that truly levels the playing field for the average fantasy sports player.
Unlike most DFS sites, where average sports fans are forced to play against professionals and rarely win, MKF offers its loyal users a dynamic, creative and ever-expanding slate of daily sports and esports contests, where having fun and winning, are part of the experience.
Daily contests are offered for NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Esports, Golf, Soccer, WNBA, and NASCAR events.