Bally's and Monkey Knife Fight

  • The all-stock purchase makes Bally’s only the third company ever to have both fantasy sports and sports betting at their disposal.
  • Monkey Knife Fight is the fastest growing fantasy sports platform in the US and is available in 37 states.
  • Bally’s is poised to launch an online sportsbook in Iowa in 2021.
  • Bally’s has also recently acquired Fox Sports regional networks to rebrand them as Bally’s Sports.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – On Monday, Bally’s Corporation announced that they have agreed to purchase Monkey Knife Fight (MKF), the fastest-growing fantasy sports platform in the U.S., for $90 million.

The all-stock deal makes Bally’s only the third company in the U.S. to have fantasy sports and legal sports betting within their offerings. This puts the company in the same category as DraftKings and FanDuel.

“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.”

Why Purchase Monkey Knife Fight?

Bally’s is currently all-in on sports betting and is in the process of building out their own online sportsbook and launching in Iowa after they bought out Bet.Works. They’ve even bought naming rights for 21 FOX Regional Sports Networks where they plan to rename them to Bally’s Sports.

The purchase of Monkey Knife Fight is similar to the FOX deal in that it allows Bally’s to establish a presence in states that have not yet legalized sports betting.

The most attractive markets with DFS that still need to launch sports betting are California, Texas, and Florida which are expected to account for nearly a quarter of all US sports betting revenue.

MKF currently has 180,000 users registered and 80,000 users who are active players making deposits.

“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.”

Details Of The Deal

While this buyout appears to be a major win for Bally’s, Monkey Knife Fight is also going to come away with a lot to cheer about.

According to the deal: “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 within the first quarter of this year.

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