It’s been a great year for FanDuel, despite the challenges that have been brought about by the pandemic. The sports betting giant recently announced that it would launch a new retail sportsbook at Bally’s Casino in Atlantic City.
The sportsbook will launch just as soon as the property is finally sold to Twin River Worldwide Holdings. Twin River Worldwide Holdings has also been going through bug changes, recently changing its name to Bally’s Corporation. The new name change took effect on November 9th, 2020.
Rhode Island-based Twin River agreed to acquire Bally’s AC from Caesars Entertainment and VICI Properties for a cool $25 million. Bally’s Corporation is currently in charge of 9 casinos that are spread over 5 states, a horse racetrack, 13 accredited OTB licenses in Colorado, and now a sportsbook at Bally’s AC. The soon-to-be new owners have also vowed to invest at least $90 million, which will go towards upgrading Bally’s in the next 5 years.
Over the years Bally’s has become aged and derelict and is today in dire need of upgrades and renovations. Bally’s plans to renovate more than 900 hotel rooms, as well as establish as many as 40 mini-suites. There will also be a brand new restaurant and bar, updated gaming offerings, a revamped spa, and fitness center, as well as exterior hotel upgrades.
These are all upgrades that will lead to a boost in both revenue and growth. Once the renovations are complete, the 41-year-old AC property will be at par and able to compete with other newer casinos in the area. Once the sale is finalized, the already present sportsbook in the Wild Wild West section of Bally’s will belong to the adjacent Caesars casino.
Bally’s AC has been through some tough times in the past. It used to be one of the highest-grossing casinos in AC. However, the period between December 2016 and September 2020 has especially been challenging for the once giant operator. Indeed, over the past several months, except for the 100 days or so during which casinos remained closed due to the outbreak, Bally’s has consistently been at the bottom of the brick-and-mortar gaming revenue.
Bally’s which is now ranked last out of all the 9 casinos in AC, has brought in $72 million so far. This may sound like a great number but when compared to its competitors, the gap is astounding. Case in point, Borgata, which is today ranked AC’s top physical casino generated a remarkable $373 million in that same period.
And it’s not just the brand new sportsbook that Bally’s AC customers have to look forward to. The permanent sportsbook will be ready for business by March 2021 or spring 2021. But until then, sports fans and punters in the state will have to settle for the temporary retail space located on the casino floor that should be made available before the end of the year. Once the sportsbook goes live, all 9 of AC’s casinos will have retail sportsbooks, thus bringing the total to 12.
Partnership great for both FanDuel
FanDuel has been a market leader in the New Jersey sports betting market for years as we’ve covered here. This partnership with Bally’s will help it to further cement its standing in the industry and expand its retail footprint in the Atlantic City market. As a result of this deal, FanDuel now has 3 online skins operating under its new license.
Twin River Holdings and FanDuel have had a long-lasting relationship that spans back years. Both gambling operators share ties in the Colorado market. FanDuel also operates the Golden Gates online Casino, which is owned by Twin River Holdings.
This deal will not only benefit Bally’s, which as mentioned earlier is in dire need of overhauls, but it will also be advantageous to FanDuel. Its new position in the Atlantic City sports betting market now places it in a unique position to draw sports betting fans from neighboring New York, which is still yet to authorize mobile sports betting.
When the FanDuel sportsbook finally opens its doors, it will become the 2nd operator in the state to have multiple retail locations. The only other one that has multiple locations is William Hill, which currently boasts locations in Monmouth Park, Harrah’s, Tropicana, as well as Oceans Casino.
Other than expanding into the New Jersey market, FanDuel also recently launched a sportsbook app in Iowa. Thus making Iowa the 7th US regulated jurisdiction to feature FanDuel’s state of the art app and online betting experience. FanDuel is also available in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Illinois, and West Virginia.
Bally’s may be Atlantic City’s worst-performing casino, but its future looks bright thanks to its partnership with FanDuel. New Jersey has emerged as a leader in the sports betting industry, so FanDuel’s move to launch a new sportsbook in the New Jersey market couldn’t be more appropriate.
The state enjoys a vibrant casino and racetrack industry so there is a clear market and demand for it. Sports wagering’s foundation in the Garden State has been solid for years. Operators keep shattering sports betting revenue in the state, much to the delight of the state’s coffers, which are full as a result.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Revenue projections for the coming years are estimated at billions. This means that the state will keep using the tax dollars acquired from sports betting to keep improving the state’s schools, roads, and other components of the infrastructure. A better and bigger sports betting industry is a win-win for punters and state residents alike.
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