“theScore Bet mobile sportsbook is discontinuing operations in the United States, effective July 1, 2022,” the company’s website says. “This does not affect users in Ontario, Canada. theScore Bet is part of the Penn National Gaming family, which also operates the Barstool Sportsbook. Barstool Sportsbook offers online sports betting in 12 states, including Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey, with iCasino available in New Jersey and three additional states.”
Months in the making
The move had been telegraphed in the past by Penn. The Wyomissing, Pa.-headquartered gambling company bought Toronto-based theScore last year in a deal worth around US$2 billion. Penn CEO Jay Snowden has said theScore would be their lead sports-betting brand in Canada and that their Barstool Sportsbook would lead in the U.S.
Since the deal closed, theScore Bet has secured a strong position for itself in Ontario after the launch of a competitive market for online sports betting and internet casino gambling in Canada’s most populous province on April 4.
With many Canadians already familiar with theScore’s digital media app, downloads of theScore Bet sportsbook boomed in the early days of the Ontario iGaming market.
“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 chief operating officer of theScore, in a statement on Wednesday. "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."
In Indiana, for instance, theScore Bet's handle for April was $635,654. Meanwhile, Barstool Sportsbook took $11.9 million in online wagers for the month and FanDuel Sportsbook handled $112 million in bets, which was tops in the state.
At any rate, theScore Bet's U.S. exit will likely come after the end of the NBA and NHL playoffs, two key periods for sportsbooks.
Penn is also finding ways for its sports-betting brands to work together on the media and technology sides of the business.
TheScore Bet now uses a proprietary player account management (PAM) system and is expected to migrate over to its own risk and trading platform in the third quarter of this year. Barstool will transition on to theScore's systems in 2023, which is expected to provide cost savings for Penn.
“This move enables us to maximize the value of both brands through our organic media and gaming approach," Levy said Wednesday. "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."