- FanDuel has opened a temporary retail sportsbook at Bally’s Atlantic City.
- A permanent sportsbook at the property is coming in 2021.
- In November, Caesars Entertainment sold Bally’s Atlantic City to Twin River Worldwide which rebranded as Bally’s Corporation.
It’s been a busy six weeks for Bally’s Corporation (NYSE: BALY). Actually, prior to that Bally’s Corporation technically didn’t exist. The former Twin River Worldwide Holdings purchased Bally’s Atlantic City from Caesars Entertainment in a deal that closed in late November. In addition, Twin River purchased the entire Bally’s brand from Caesars and rebranded as Bally’s Corporation. With an open spot in the retail sportsbook a result of the deal Bally’s Corporation has partnered with FanDuel to take over the bookmaking operations at their Atlantic City property.
The Bally’s/FanDuel partnership is significant on a variety of levels. It represents FanDuel’s first retail sportsbook in the Atlantic City market. The arrangement was brokered prior to the closing of Bally’s AC’s sale to Twin River and also means that all nine of Atlantic City’s casinos have retail sportsbooks once again. FanDuel already has one of the highest profile sportsbooks in New Jersey at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, NJ located just a half hour from New York City. From a financial standpoint, it is the most successful sportsbook in New Jersey taking in $173.3 million of the $332.1 million that New Jersey sports books have made during the first 11 months of 2020.
When Caesars Entertainment owned the Bally’s AC property it had the market’s largest retail sportsbook. Obviously, the Caesars branded sportsbook didn’t come with the sale to the new ownership group and that left Bally’s AC without a retail sports betting location until Tuesday, December 22 when the temporary FanDuel location opened. It is somewhat interesting that Caesars didn’t try to convert the sportsbook into a William Hill location. The company has a solid relationship with Bally’s so that sure sounds viable. Of course, Bally’s could have wanted to go a different direction anyway. I’m skeptical that Caesars wants to maintain the third party William Hill books longterm. The large retail footprint in the US market is likely a good revenue source but it puts Caesars Entertainment in the awkward position of operating books in competing properties like the Venetian Atlantic City.
Bally’s and Caesars have other business relationships. As part of the purchase of the Bally’s brand Caesars obtained a perpetual license to continue using it at the Bally’s Las Vegas property. Las Vegas industry observers have pointed to this as a sign that Caesars might be wanting to unload Bally’s Las Vegas–there has been considerable chatter about the sale of some of the company’s Nevada assets since the merger with Eldorado Resorts–but other than speculation due to the brand name sale there’s nothing to suggest a deal is imminent. Bally’s has also purchased the Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport in a deal that closed just a couple of days before Christmas. For now, the property has retained the previous name but one would assume that it will be rebranded as ‘Bally’s Shreveport’ at some point.
FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK AT BALLY’S ATLANTIC CITY
The temporary FanDuel facility at Bally’s AC is now open on the main casino floor easily accessible from the Boardwalk. Here’s some of the details from a Bally’s Corp press release announcing the deal:
The FanDuel Sportsbook will initially feature six live odds boards, ten self-service IGT PlaySports betting kiosks, and three live betting windows with attendants available to assist customers with the sports betting process. It will allow bets on all major U.S. sports, including professional baseball, soccer, football, basketball, golf, boxing, motorsports racing, and more, and operate in accordance with all CDC and local health guidelines and protocols.
The Bally’s Corporation press release announcing the new sportsbook revealed some of the specifics about the permanent FanDuel location scheduled to open Spring 2021:
Design and construction are currently underway on the permanent FanDuel Sportsbook location, which Bally’s expects to open in Spring 2021. The state-of-the-art, best in class facility will span 4,100 square feet and consist of 34 self-service IGT PlaySports betting kiosks, and 5 attended, live wagering windows. It will also feature a luxury 80-seat lounge with 30 reclining club chairs, oversized LED video walls, a thoughtful food and beverage menu including self-service craft beer, and a sensational game-day atmosphere.
Bally’s is planning a number of improvements at their newly purchased Atlantic City property and the FanDuel book is only the beginning according to George Papanier, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bally’s Corporation:
“We are very excited to announce the opening of the FanDuel Sportsbook at Bally’s AC. It is the first of many planned capital improvement projects at Bally’s Atlantic City and a testament to our commitment to reinvest in our physical property portfolio. We are also looking forward to once again implementing the winning combination of Bally’s nationwide expertise in gaming and casino operations, with FanDuel’s market-leading sports betting acumen and globally recognized brand, to provide an unrivaled sportsbook experience for our loyal Atlantic City customers.”
Keith Wall, VP of Retail at FanDuel is excited about getting the permanent sportsbook up and running at Bally’s AC:
“We are excited to be one the first pieces of the Capital Improvement Project at Bally’s Atlantic City Casino & Hotel. While we are eager to get up and running with our temporary sportsbook, we cannot wait until we open the permanent location and showcase to Atlantic City why FanDuel is the number one sportsbook in New Jersey.”
For now, the FanDuel location at Bally’s AC will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for self-service kiosk wagering. The live attendent ticket windows will be open Monday through Friday, 12:00 PM-10:00 PM ET, and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM ET.