What Does The Bally Bet Shut Down Mean For Colorado Sports Betting?

Written By Darren Cooper on 06/27/2023
Bally's has closed its online sportsbook, Bally Bet, in Colorado for now.

Bally Bet has left the building in Colorado. At least for a while.

The casino and sports betting operator announced it was shutting down its online sports betting platform as it switches technology partners to Kambi, which in turn has a deal with tech provider White Hat Gaming to create the next generation of the Bally Bet online platform.

All Colorado users of the Bally Bet sports app were directed to a brief FAQ page. It says that effective June 30, the app would be closing and would return “later this year.” Clients are advised to withdraw the money from their accounts by then. Any left would be sent to the address on file. Players can’t transfer money over.

Colorado was one of seven states that Bally Bet operated its sports betting platform in. Any reduction in the number of providers hurts the overall experience for players. Fewer operators mean less competition, which translates into fewer promotional offers and deals.

Bally’s Corporation, which operates Bally Bet, still maintains a major presence as a casino operator in Black Hawk. And its Golden Gate Casino retail sportsbook will remain under the DraftKings brand.

Bally’s woes in the market

Bally Bet customers have a slew of choices when it comes to sportsbooks. Colorado online sports betting boasts nearly two dozen options for bettors in The Centennial State.

Bally’s has a strong reputation as a casino operator but was late getting involved in the sports betting business. It made the decision to build out its own customer acquisition platform at a significant initial cost.

It was a case of too little, too late for Bally’s, which has struggled to gain a foothold in any of the states where it has a sports betting license. Colorado does not reveal the breakdown of sports betting revenue by operator – for the month of April it was $25.6 million total – but of the states that do, Bally’s has a tiny fraction of the share, with just 0.01% of the share in Indiana and 0.16% in New York.

The company reported a loss of $400 million in the fourth quarter of 2022 and CEO Lee Fenton stepped down. Bally’s shut down Bet. Works and its DFS sports app Monkey Knife Fight, seeking to push the restart button on the whole enterprise.

Outsourcing the platform building is the next step, but that will take some time. Ideally, Bally Bet would like to be active in time for the start of the NFL football season in September, but the FAQ for customers does not list a date, only saying that they will be in touch.

What it means for Colorado

Colorado has been a booming sports betting market since it launched in spring of 2020, and the move to close Bally Bet was not a surprise, but the short window of time for users to take out their money was.

Bally Bet is also temporarily closing its portal in Iowa, Indiana, Virginia, and New York. Players in Arizona, which have a newer version of the Bet Bally sportsbook app, can keep their accounts up and running.

Bally’s was approved to launch sports betting in Massachusetts and Tennessee and was approved to build one of the biggest casinos in the country in Chicago. The launches in Massachusetts and Tennessee are on hold. The $1.7 billion casino in Chicago has a target date of 2026.

Relaunch of the Bally Bet app will likely be on a state-by-state basis. Colorado probably won’t be one of the priorities as Bally’s tries to establish a better foundation to move forward.

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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022.

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