Bally’s Corporation to acquire Association of Volleyball Professionals

The US gambling giant Bally’s Corporation has acquired the leading US professional beach volleyball organisation, the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP).

This marks the latest step in the US casino operators’ diversification strategy.

Bally’s to acquire AVP

Announced yesterday, Bally’s has acquired the AVP, which operates the longest-running domestic beach volleyball tour in the US.

According to the announcement, the acquisition represents the latest step in Bally’s ongoing omni-channel growth and diversification strategy. 

The purchase will provide the operator with a chance to “gamify and incorporate interactive content” into beach volleyball in order to drive traffic to Bally’s platforms and drive customer acquisition.

Bally’s has acquired all of AVP’s assets, including trademarks, AVP America promoter agreements and associated recurring membership revenue, digital photo and video assets, and all proprietary tournament and league management software.

The operator also plans to leverage the volleyball league’s distribution channels, as well as the Sinclair-owned Bally Sports Regional Sports Networks (RSNs), to increase consumer engagement with the league.

The league will start its 2021 AVP Pro Tour in Atlanta, Georgia, on August 13-15, while the AVP plans to resume a full season beginning in 2022.

Adi Dhandhania, Bally’s Strategy and Interactive at the AVP, said: “The AVP is an attractive asset that complements our rapidly expanding US sports betting vision. Donald and the entire AVP team have done a tremendous job developing the league and transforming it into what it is today, and we look forward to exploring creative ways to amplify and gamify such a dynamic and high-growth sport, providing beach volleyball fans across the nation with unique and interactive content.”

Donald Sun, former owner and CEO of AVP, said: “Forming a new relationship with a trusted, forward-thinking partner like Bally’s offers the opportunity to develop a strategic roadmap that will grow the sport, expand its footprint and provide new resources to better elevate the game and its athletes. I look forward to being an integral part of the transition, focusing on the best interests of all AVP athletes, fans, staff, and partners.”

Bally’s latest acquisition

The acquisition of the AVP is the latest purchase Bally’s has made in what has been a busy period for the US operator.

In recent months, Bally’s has completed its acquisition of the US-facing daily fantasy sports provider Monkey Knife Fight, as well as the sports betting technology company Bet.Works. The US operator acquired Bet.Works so that it could have proprietary access to a sports betting solution.

Bally’s also acquired the free-to-play games provider SportCaller in February.

In late June, Bally’s went on to launch its BallyBet sportsbook, which was developed by Bet.Works, in the state of Iowa.

Last month, Bally’s announced it had secured market access for sports betting in the state of Kansas via a deal with Boot Hill Casino & Resort in Dodge City. Kansas now marks the 14th US state in which Bally’s has established a presence and is the third state where it will only operate as an online entity.

The launch of Bally’s online sportsbook in Kansas will be subject to the legalisation of sports betting in the state.

Earlier this month, Bally’s also made progress on its $2bn acquisition and merger of the UK-based online gambling giant Gamesys Group. 

Now, shareholders in both companies have voted in favour of the proposed mega-merger that would create a leading online and land-based gambling entity in the US.

Both organisations expect the merger to close in Q4 2021. However, the combination still requires approval from the courts at a court hearing and must meet several other closing conditions.