Reporting the news and offering insightful digital commentary has been theScore’s bread and butter for the last six years, but now the Toronto-based company has its eyes set on a much more lucrative business.
TheScore has announced the launch of a mobile sportsbook in the U.S., and it is set to debut in mid-2019. This new agreement is with Darby Development LLC, the operator of the Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA). This means theScore’s first foray into betting will only be available to New Jersey residents, but it is a big step towards launching a service across North America, as theScore is the first media company to debut a service like this in the continent.
Still subject to approvals and licenses from the State of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC), theScore has already launched a standalone site dedicated to betting. TheScore will operate a branded sportsbook for horse racing, and Darby Development will be entitled to a small percentage of all the generated revenue. The agreement is set for five years, with two additional five-year extensions available.
“This is a significant moment for theScore, becoming the first media company in North America to announce its plans to launch online and mobile sports betting in the United States,” said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore. “Sports betting has long been part of our company DNA in how we’ve delivered content to fans. Providing the ability to actually bet on games is the natural next phase for theScore.”
TheScore has been working closely with Dennis Drazin, the CEO of Darby Development, to launch the service, Drazin played a key role in the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), which largely prohibited sports betting across the U.S.
“With the rapid growth of mobile and in-game wagering, we are perfectly positioned to deliver a unique and amazing sports betting experience,” said Levy. “Our large and engaged app audience spans every single U.S. state and highly indexes with sports betting enthusiasts. We can’t wait to bring a sports betting product to market and capitalize on this exciting opportunity in New Jersey and other regulated states.”
On top of the agreement with New Jersey state betting authorities, theScore has also tapped Bet.Works, a U.S. igaming provider. Bet.Works’ platform will power theScore’s betting site.
TheScore already displays betting lines and odds on their current app, though users have to go to another site to actually place a bet. This entrance into the betting world follows a mid-2018 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down PASPA—though the company has been preparing for this since at least August when they brought on former Wynn Resorts gaming chief David Wang as a senior advisor. If this move into New Jersey goes well, theScore will look to expand their betting options to the other 17 states that have legalized sports betting.
The digital sports platform is no stranger to pushing the boundaries when it comes to winning over new audiences. They continually innovate their mobile app, which is used by close to five million people a month, by pushing updates and centering content around events like The World Cup.