TheScore Exiting U.S. Sports Betting Market On Canada Day

June 2, 2022
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Canadian sports betting brand theScore, which was acquired by Penn National Gaming last year, informed its customers Wednesday that it will shut down its U.S. sports betting operations on Canada Day, or July 1.

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Canadian sports betting brand theScore, which was acquired by Penn National Gaming last year, informed its customers Wednesday (June 1) that it will shut down its U.S. sports betting operations on Canada Day, or July 1.

The combination media-sports betting brand currently offers sports betting in four states, New Jersey, Iowa, Colorado, and Indiana, but as of June 15, the company will no longer accept deposits or new wagers.

The company says the move continues to build on the strategy to lead with Penn’s Barstool Sportsbook brand in the U.S. while utilizing the strength of theScore brand in Canada, particularly so in Ontario, where theScore will continue to operate online gambling.

“Since Penn’s acquisition of theScore, the company’s plan has been to lead with Barstool Sportsbook in the U.S. and theScore Bet in Canada, given our strong brand equity there,” said Benjie Levy, president and COO of theScore, in a statement.

In addition to theScore’s popularity in Ontario, a major driver for Penn’s $2bn acquisition was the company’s in-house technology, including a player account management system, as well as a risk and trading service that the company has been in the process of developing.

“With theScore Bet launched and thriving in Ontario, and as we approach a major undertaking this summer with the launch of our proprietary risk and trading service, the timing is right to focus our U.S. efforts on marketing Barstool Sportsbook and our Canadian efforts on marketing theScore Bet,” Levy said.

While Ontario has yet to report revenue results from its online sports betting and online casino program that launched April 4, theScore has trended strongly in publicly available data such as app downloads since the launch.

Penn reported that the first 21 days of operations in Ontario exceeded the company’s results in Michigan for registrations and first-time deposits by more than 30 percent.

The decision to pull theScore from U.S. markets was never explicitly stated before Wednesday, but the move is hardly a stunner given statements from Penn and theScore executives leading up to it, and theScore’s small market share in each of the four states where it operates.

“We are excited to have two very strong sports brands in our portfolio in theScore and Barstool Sports,” said Penn National CEO Jay Snowden on a quarterly earnings call last month.

“We feel the best way to maximize the value of both brands in the U.S. is to fully integrate the Barstool Sportsbook app into theScore media app, which will occur during the second half of this year.”

“This move enables us to maximize the value of both brands through our organic media and gaming approach,” Levy said. “Key to our strategy is integrating theScore media app with Barstool Sportsbook in the U.S., which we’re currently working towards.”

“Bringing together theScore’s powerful sports media platform with Barstool Sportsbook, supported by our in-house technology will strengthen the overall U.S. product offering and broaden its reach.”

Beginning June 15, users of theScore Bet app in the U.S. will only be able to conduct withdrawal transactions. After July 1, any remaining account balances will be mailed via check to the account holder.

TheScore says it will reach out directly to patrons with open futures wagers that will settle after July 1 to explain how the open wagers will be handled.

The move also opens up potential market access opportunities that Penn could elect to sell, including immediate opportunities in Iowa, Indiana, Louisiana, and Kansas, as well as speculative skins such as first-skin access in Mississippi and second-skin access in Texas that previously were promised to theScore.

TheScore also had market access agreements with Monmouth Park in New Jersey, Jacobs Entertainment in Colorado, and Caesars Entertainment in Illinois, although the latter had not launched.

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