TheScore Bet Announces Plans to Discontinue U.S. Operations, Focus on Ontario Sports Betting

TheScore Bet Announces Plans to Discontinue U.S. Operations, Focus on Ontario Sports Betting
By Mark Keast

The big news Wednesday was the announcement that theScore Bet will be discontinuing its U.S.-based sports betting operations as of July 1.

It’s a move to better deploy the company’s resources strategically, to emphasize and build theScore Bet brand for Ontario sports betting and in other provinces, and the Barstool Sportsbook brand in the U.S.

TheScore media app will continue to play a large role in the U.S., as the company continues to work toward integrating that app with Barstool Sportsbook, which will be completed later this year. Penn National Gaming purchased theScore in 2021 in a $2.1 billion cash and stock deal. 

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

“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.”

”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.”

Strong Start in Ontario for theScore Bet

As we’ve reported, research into Ontario sports betting app downloads right after the launch of the regulated market on April 4 had theScore Bet on top in downloads.

According to a Morgan Stanley report on May 2, based on Sensor Tower data, theScore’s download share peaked opening day at 65% but slid to 17-18% by April 30.

Penn National purchased Barstool Sports in a $450 million deal in 2020. A few weeks back, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy was in Toronto promoting theScore Bet and eating pizza.

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Already Focusing on Canada

In early April, theScore Bet and the Toronto Blue Jays announced a 10-year partnership.

With the deal, theScore Bet became the official gaming partner of the Jays. It was the first professional team sponsorship for theScore Bet.

The agreement gave theScore Bet national marketing rights across all gaming categories — sports betting, casino, Ontario online casino and fantasy sports — according to a news release at the time.

The deal includes a plan for a branded sports bar and restaurant in the Rogers Centre, a stadium that is presently going through a major renovation.

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Mark Keast

Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.