The adage is that late is better than never, but for Bally Bet Sportsbook in Ohio, that might be a push. Elsewhere in the United States, Bally’s is about to find out if an improved app will mean a more successful second attempt.
Bally Bet is live in Ohio and is following that with the launch of its new app in several other US states after shutting down its online sportsbook earlier this year. Whether that will translate into better returns for Bally’s could be a betting matter in and of itself, though.
Bally’s gets on the field in Ohio
Nearly eight months to the day after legal sports betting began in Ohio, Bally Bet’s app is now available for Ohioans. Bally Bet received its license to offer sports wagering online in the state via its partnership with the Cleveland Browns months ago but has taken its time in launching.
From one point of view, it’s a good time to launch as college football is back in action and the 2023-24 NFL regular season is just a week away. At the same time, the eight-month delay also means that there could be few customers left in the state to acquire.
So far, Bally Bet has not shared any details of any new customer bonuses in Ohio. Convincing users of other sports betting apps in the state to try Bally Bet might require a special offer. The alliance with the Browns should deliver some brand awareness.
That alone may not be sufficient to deliver any meaningful market share in Ohio, however. That’s been a struggle for Bally Bet in other markets. To address that issue, Bally’s opted to re-play the down, so to speak.
Bally Bet set to re-launch in five other states
In June, Bally’s announced that it was shutting down its sportsbook app in most of its operative states. The explanation at the time was that the shuttering was necessary to migrate the online sportsbook onto a new technology platform provided by Kambi.
That migration is now complete and the new Bally Bet is ready in five states:
- New York
At this time, Bally Bet has made no official announcements about how soon it plans to use its Massachusetts sportsbook license. Bally Bet never shuttered in Arizona and New Jersey. Operations there should continue unaffected by these situations.
The biggest wrinkle of this situation for people in the quintet of states is that when Bally Bet becomes active for them again, they will not be able to simply log back in with their former account credentials. Because the app has migrated to an entirely new system, users will have to create new accounts.
That could create some user friction. At the same time, the value of Bally’s former user base is questionable, anyway.
Could an improved user experience increase market share for Bally Bet?
The main problem with Bally Bet in most of its active US states is that few people have bet on Bally Bet. For example, through the most recent numbers for online sports betting from the New York State Gaming Commission, Bally Bet has represented about a tenth of a percent of the money wagered.
A better UX certainly can’t hurt Bally Bet’s chances to improve upon those numbers. Arguably, many bettors in its markets weren’t using the old app anyway. Thus, the new app could be their first experience with the brand.
At the same time, raising awareness of the new app in those states could prove difficult and/or expensive. How much capital Bally’s is ready to commit to that cause is uncertain right now. Simply throwing money at the issue may not move the needle much.
Many bettors in these states have likely formed their habits, especially during the time that Bally Bet was unavailable. While the new app may not be completely a Hail Mary for Bally’s, if it doesn’t correlate to better performance, the situation could grow more desperate.