Penn National Gaming acquired theScore Bet in August of last year. The Canadian-based sportsbook was available in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa. Originally based out of Toronto, theScore Bet launched its mobile sports betting app in Ontario back in April of this year.
As an equity owner of Barstool Sportsbook, Penn National has decided to close down theScore Bet’s operations in the legal US market. The Pennsylvania-based casino gaming company’s marketing strategy moving forward will be twofold.
Penn National will focus all of its energy on building the Barstool brand in the legal US sports betting market. The strategy for Canada will focus on building theScore Bet brand.Jump to
Penn National’s Timeline for theScore Bet
The official announcement was made at the end of May and theScore Bet will cease US operations on July 1. The operator will no longer accept any deposits for wagering on June 15.
This move makes perfect business sense in a crowded marketplace. Barstool Sportsbook has made some solid inroads in many of its legal US markets. In Ontario, theScore Bet has accounted for around 50% of all mobile sportsbook app downloads.
As a Canadian-based media giant, theScore has more than four million users for its sports media publication. This market penetration has created strong brand recognition for theScore Bet across the entire country. The popular Canadian cable sports network was originally launched in 1994.
Expanding first into the legal US market, theScore Bet had little success gaining and significant share in New Jersey. Later expansion into Colorado, Iowa and Indiana did not go as well as planned.
Meanwhile, Penn National’s acquisition of the brand late last year paved the way for entering the Canadian sports betting market. While gaming is controlled by government-owned lottery corporations in every other province, Ontario decided to expand its gaming industry with the addition of commercial operators.
Going live on April 4, the sports betting market in Ontario has exploded almost overnight. Leading the way, theScore Bet has assumed the No. 1 share position. A recent Penn National Gaming earnings call stated that 79% of Ontario sports bettors have used theScore Bet mobile sportsbook app.
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Future Plans for Barstool Sportsbook
Penn National Gaming paid $135 million in cash and $28 million in stock for its equity share of Barstool Sports in January of 2020. As a result of that partnership, Barstool Sportsbook made its entry into the legal US market.
Going live in the company’s home state of Pennsylvania, the brand has since expanded into multiple states. Barstool Sportsbook is available in the same four states where theScore Bet operates. However, existing market access agreements must be amended to aid the transition.
A recent company statement to theScore Bet users mentioned:
“Barstool Sportsbook offers many of the same features as theScore Bet, including odds boosts and promotions across a variety of markets and will soon be integrated with theScore media app.”
According to Penn National, the integration of theScore Bet player account management system is expected to be fully completed by the third quarter of 2023.