Bally Bet launched its first mobile sportsbook in Colorado in May, part of its evolving expansion in the United States after Twin River rebranded itself as Bally’s last October. That was part of a buying spree of casinos nationwide, and a rebranding of 21 FOX Sports regional networks to Bally’s Sports. Bally Bet’s sports betting platform will originate in-house via Bet.Works, which the company acquired for $125 million last November during its string of purchases in 2020.
Iowa, though, represents a departure from Bally’s customary expansion, as it is one of three states along with Virginia and Kansas where it does not have a land-based casino. Its market access tie-in is through Grand Falls Casino and Resort in Larchwood, and Elite Casino Resorts also owns Riverside and Rhythm City Casino Resorts in the state.
“We are very excited to have achieved yet another milestone with the expansion of our mobile sports betting platform in Iowa,” said Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s Corporation’s Senior Vice President, Strategy and Interactive, in a statement. “As a state that has embraced legalized sports betting since 2019, Iowa was an attractive market for Bally Bet.
“We look forward to integrating Bally’s into Sinclair’s broadcast and digital programming in Iowa, providing Iowa sports fans with an engaging and creative sports betting experience, and continuing our work towards solidifying Bally’s as a leading retail sportsbook brand with the third greatest reach in terms of U.S. legalized market access.”
Bally Bet hopes to launch in two more states in 2021, with subsequent launches slated for next year.
Bally Bet looks to claim piece of Iowa’s growing online pie
Bally Bet is officially live in the Hawkeye State! 🤩
We may not have betting kiosks in cornfields quite yet, but Iowa is the newest member of the #ballyverse.
— Bally Bet (@BallyBet) June 29, 2021
Since the in-person registration provision expired at the turn of the year, the percentage of Iowa’s sports betting handle via mobile wagering has seen a significant uptick. In the first five months of this year, nearly $589.8 million has been wagered online, accounting for 85.7% of the $687.8 million bet overall. From its August 2019 launch through December 2020, the $523.7 million placed on bets via smartphones and other online platforms represented 66.5% of all handle generated.
Additionally, the mobile handle in Iowa has represented at least 80% of total handle in every month in 2021 — something that did not happen in any month unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The state’s record handle of $161.4 million in March included nearly $139.4 million in mobile bets.
Bally Bet will be the third mobile sportsbook linked to Grand Falls, with Elite launching operations there in August 2019 before Betfred entered the state last July. Betfred has generated more than $830,000 in revenue on over $7.3 million in handle since entering Iowa, where casinos can have up to two online partners.