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Bally’s Corporation launched the company’s first online casino product, Bally Casino. Yesterday’s debut in New Jersey arrived eight months after the company began offering online sports betting.
The company’s digital products are housed in its Bally Interactive division. One of those brands, Bally Bet, started accepting online sports bets in May 2021 in Colorado. The online sportsbook is now live in four states, with Indiana and Virginia rounding out that list.
A New York launch is pending, likely to happen in April. The delay is intentional, with Bally’s Chairman Soohyung Kim describing the market as “insane” at the moment.
Unlike the Bally Bet unveilings, which included press releases, tweets and Instagram posts, Bally’s launched Bally Casino sotto voce.
The soft launch lasted from Dec. 8 to 10 in New Jersey. The online casino Twitter account, @BallyCasino, only had four tweets and six followers, as of yesterday. One of those followers was @BallyBet.
Three of the tweets were about the soft launch.
The tweet posted on the day of the full launch wasn’t even nominally about the New Jersey online casino. It was a promotion about winning a Super Bowl getaway at the land-based licensee of Bally Casino, Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel and Casino.
The tweet read:
“Watch the #BigGame the right way and join us for a two-night stay package at @BallysAC , worth $933.”
However, Bally’s did email out a press release chock full of exclamation points yesterday:
“ballycasino.com launched in New Jersey with premium games including slots, blackjack, roulette, and video poker. Players can enjoy the thrill of playing land-based classics and top slot games such as Wheel of Fortune Triple Extreme Spin, Cleopatra, Secret of Phoenix, Tiki Island, Monopoly games, and more! In addition, players can win free spins with popular Daily Free Games such as Search for the Phoenix and Tiki’s Catch of the Day. Bally’s will continue to add games including Bingo with multiple chances to win and an exclusive Super Jackpot!”
Like Bally Bet, Bally’s is keeping the Bally Casino marketing and promotions budget light.
Although this is Bally’s US online casino debut, it makes sense that the company would avoid fanfare about the accomplishment. That’s because there’s work underway to take the company private.
On Jan. 25, Bally’s received a $2 billion bid from its chairman – in his capacity as the leader of a hedge fund.
Kim, the company’s chairman, is also the managing partner and chief investment officer of bidder Standard General.
Kim moving to help Bally’s go private would take the pressure off of the company in terms of shareholder demands.
On the online gambling end, that’s helpful due to Kim’s plans to wait until April to launch Bally Bet in New York. Also, Bally’s wouldn’t have to increase its marketing and promotion spend, which is far below that of operators with more market share.
Also by removing that pressure, Bally’s may avoid following in the footsteps of its competitor Wynn Resorts.
At one point, Wynn had been looking into taking Wynn Interactive public and securing a war chest. The plan at that time was to use part of the money for marketing and promotions for its online gambling brand, WynnBET.
That effort failed, and now Wynn Interactive is reportedly for sale for $500 million, a fraction of the original price tag.
As with this week’s Bally Casino launch, WynnBET did very little to promote its August 2020 debut in the Garden State.
That, though, was WynnBET’s first time offering online wagering anywhere in the US. Wynn Resorts operates retail casinos in Massachusetts and Nevada, so WynnBET had to partner with Caesars Entertainment in order to launch online sports betting and online casino in New Jersey.
However, Bally’s didn’t have that problem. Yet Bally Casino isn’t even the first online casino on the Atlantic City retail casino’s license. That honor went to PointsBet Casino in July 2021.