Bally’s making change in leadership, posts preliminary $477M Q4 loss

PROVIDENCE – Lee Fenton, CEO of Bally’s Corp., will step down on March 31, the gaming company announced Monday as it also released preliminary 2022 financial results that showed a $476.8 million loss for the fourth quarter. 

Robeson Reeves, current president of Bally’s Interactive, will succeed Fenton, who will also step down from Bally’s board of directors. George Papanier, longtime Bally’s executive, will become Bally’s sole president.

It wasn’t immediately clear what led to Fenton’s decision to step down. Bally’s representatives Monday did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Bally’s, which operates Rhode Island’s two casinos – Bally’s Twin River Lincoln and Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel – said in a press release it would release its full 2022 earning report on Feb. 23.

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But it said its preliminary calculation of a $476.8 million loss for the fourth quarter included noncash goodwill and asset impairment charges of $464 million.

Bally’s said $390.7 million of the goodwill and impairment charges were related to its North America Interactive segment, primarily because of its acquisition of Bet.Works and Monkey Knife Fight.

“Simply put, our North America Interactive results in 2022 were unacceptable,” Reeves said. “In response, through our announced restructuring plan of the Interactive business in January, we are taking a deep dive in our approach to North America to ensure that investments we make in sports have a near-term path to profitability,” Reeves said.

The preliminary loss for the entire 2022 was $414.8 million, compared with a loss of $114.7 million in 2021, Bally’s said.

Meanwhile, preliminary revenue for the fourth quarter was $576.7 million, up from $547.7 million or 5.3% from the same period in 2021.

For all of 2022, Bally’s reported preliminary revenue of $2.3 billion, up from $1.3 billion or 70.5% – from 2021.

In the last year, the share price of the publicly traded company has dropped from $35.45 on Feb. 16, 2022, to $18.83 on Feb. 10. Bally’s was trading at $19.47 as of 11:20 a.m. on Monday.

Fenton will be stepping down after 18 months on the job. He became CEO of Bally’s on Oct. 1, 2021, following the acquisition of Gamesys Group PLC, where he had been CEO since 2015. 

Soo Kim, chairman of Bally’s Corp.’s board of directors, thanked Lee for his leadership and contributions to Bally’s, adding that Fenton has positioned Bally’s for future growth. 

“I want to thank Soo and the rest of the Board for my time at Bally’s and for the work through the transition to Robeson’s leadership,” Fenton said in a press release. “Bally’s is an extraordinary business with extraordinary people, and I want to thank each and every one of them for the support they have shown me and the commitment they continue to bring to the business.” 

Reeves joined Gamesys in September 2005, where he held several leadership positions. Before his role with Bally’s Interactive, Reeves served as the chief operating officer of Gamesys since July 2015, and before that as Gamesys’ director of gaming operations. 

“I am honored to lead Bally’s and grateful for the support and confidence shown in me by my fellow Board members,” Reeves said. “We are a unique company with a robust core and an extraordinary set of opportunities ahead of us. I look forward to working hard with my executive team and all our teams to take those opportunities and maximize our growth.”