theScore Receives Green Light for Soft Launch in NJ

Sports media company theScore has made no secret of its plans to branch out into the sports betting space. Those plans continue to take shape, but they are also beginning to bear fruit.

Now, theScore has received the necessary approvals for a soft launch of its sportsbook app in New Jersey.

From the press release:

theScore, Inc. (TSX Venture: SCR) (“theScore” or “the Company”) today announced that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has granted an initial approval authorizing the Company’s subsidiary, Score Digital Sports Ventures Inc. to engage in Internet and mobile sports wagering activities in the state. In accordance with the DGE’s procedures, theScore will undertake a soft-launch phase of its sportsbook app with a select group of sports bettors in the state in the coming days, ahead of its anticipated state-wide launch in advance of football season.

 “This is a huge milestone and a result of the tireless hard work that has gone into getting our sportsbook ready for launch,” said John Levy, Founder and CEO of theScore. “We can’t wait to debut a best-in-class sports betting offering in New Jersey, delivering a truly unique and holistic sports media and wagering experience for fans.”

Let’s take a closer look at theScore NJ and what sports bettors have to look forward to.

What You Need to Know About theScore

The Toronto-based company is best known for a popular digital app that keeps users abreast of the latest happenings in the world of sports. Users can find scores, breaking news and highlights on the app and through its news website at theScore.com.

The company was initially in the TV business upon its founding, but the TV network was sold and rebranded while theScore kept hold of its digital assets. In the latter part of 2018, theScore announced it would be heading to a new playing field.

Announced Sports Betting Plans Last Year

Back in December, theScore announced its plans to enter the booming mobile sports betting market in NJ. The company hitched its wagon to Monmouth Park via a deal with Darby Development, the company that manages the racetrack for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

John Levy, Founder and CEO of theScore noted at the time that this was the first step in the company’s big plans for the sports betting space.

“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.

 “With the rapid growth of mobile and in-game wagering, we are perfectly positioned to deliver a unique and amazing sports betting experience. 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.”

Since the announcement, signs have pointed to the NJ launch being sometime in 2019. It turns out that sometime is right now.

NJ Soft Launch for theScore

The soft-launch phase is expected to last just a few days. As long as no major hiccups arise, theScore will be poised to reach its goal of launching a functional NJ sports betting app in time for the football season.

That said, the clock is ticking. The NCAA football regular season gets underway on Saturday, August 24 with a pair of games. The following week, the action kicks into high gear with dozens of games on tap. One week later, it’s time for the kickoff of the NFL regular season.

NFL betting season is the busiest time of the year for sportsbooks, and theScore will be entering a crowded NJ marketplace to boot. The company will become the 14th mobile or online sportsbook to be up and running in the Garden State.

Bet.Works is Behind the App

The new app will run on a platform from Bet.Works, a US-based provider of i-gaming and sportsbook software. Earlier this year, the startup made headlines with the announcement that some industry heavyweights would be joining the team in advance of its NJ market entry.

The company has also made it clear that it intends to spread its wings into other regulated US markets as well.

From Dr. Laila Mintas of theScore:

“Bet.Works’ cutting edge enterprise sports betting platform will fill a major void that exists in the marketplace today. In addition, the company’s US-based management team dedicated solely on the American sports betting landscape will serve the company well…I look forward to working with my fellow Advisory Board members in bringing Bet.Works across all future regulated sports betting markets in America.”

Future Looks Bright for theScore

As for theScore, the announcement of the NJ soft-launch comes just a few weeks after the company inked a deal with Penn National.

As part of the Deal, theScore will receive access to an additional 11 markets, while Penn National will be entitled to revenue sharing and a 4.7 percent equity stake in the company.

theScore will get 1st skin access to the Louisiana and Mississippi, and 2nd or 3rd skin access to the other states which are part of the deal. We’ll have to wait and see how the NJ soft-launch and full rollout goes, but it’s looking like theScore could be a big player in US sports betting before too long.

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