Bally’s Corporation has unveiled a definitive agreement to acquire daily fantasy sports platform Monkey Knife Fight in an all-stock transaction which is expected to close during Q1 2021.

The acquisition marks the latest stage of the company’s long-term growth and diversification strategy to become an integrated sports betting and igaming firm with a B2B2C business model.

“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,” stated George Papanier, president and CEO 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.”

Bally’s lauds the impending acquisition as the prime complement to its recent media partnership with Sinclair Broadcast Group, and its pending acquisition of Bet.Works, including its proprietary technology stack.

MKF is set to become an “integral component” of the Bally’s Interactive division, and will support wider plans to develop a potential sports bettors database in states such as California, Florida and Texas, which, according to Wall Street analysts, are expected to account for 20 per cent – 25 per cent of US sports betting revenues.

It will also enable Bally’s to build a player database in Canada, a market that is expected to authorise sports betting in the near future.

Additionally, Bally’s intends to combine MKF’s geographic presence, which spans 37 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada, with Sinclair’s significant media footprint, including its portfolio of 21 regional sports networks.

“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 CEO 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.”

As part of the acquisition, MKF is set to receive immediately exercisable penny warrants to purchase up to approximately $50m in Bally’s common shares (subject to adjustment) at closing, and contingent penny warrants to purchase up to approximately $20m in additional Bally’s common shares on each of the first and second anniversaries of closing, for a possible total of up to approximately $40m. The contingency relates to MKF’s continued operations in jurisdictions in which it operates at closing.