TheScore Bet Grew Modest NJ Handle 58% Compared To Prior Quarter
Legal Sports Report

Potential New Jersey ‘Reset’ Could Be Positive For theScore Bet, CEO Says

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When theScore Bet first launched in New Jersey last September, it came about a year after the rest of the market launched.

That, in part, led to a lower market share in its first two quarters of operation. But Score Media CEO John Levy doesn’t expect that to last.

He sees a market restart whenever sports return from their shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic.

“The whole table is being reset [in New Jersey],” Levy said.

The team was confident it had the best sports betting product, powered by Bet.Works, when the app originally launched.

“We’re not going to jump to the top of the list right off the bat, but I think once we get in there and start to establish, you’re going to see it’s a different story once we relaunch,” Levy said.

TheScore Bet fighting to get users back

One of the main fights in New Jersey is getting the loyal users of theScore’s media app to use theScore Bet instead of competing apps.the

Since its sports betting platform was later to launch, a lot of theScore’s users went to other sportsbooks, Levy said. Some are returning, as can be seen in the company’s quarter-over-quarter handle growth of 58%. About 75% of theScore Bet’s users come from the media app, he added.

While the growth rate is positive, it came from a low starting point: Handle for the quarter totaled was just about $10 million, or 0.6% of the total New Jersey sports betting market for December through February. That’s up from 0.5% of handle for September through November.

“Even though it’s very early days, we weren’t really that disappointed in terms of where we were with our positioning,” Levy said. “We saw the big growth quarter over quarter. And I think you’re going to see us getting on that path to have a significant portion of market share in the states where we launch in the next eight to 12 months.”

Colorado, Indiana launches coming

TheScore Bet plans to launch in Indiana and Colorado at some point this year, but final decisions haven’t been made.

Indiana’s market is still ramping up after launching around football season last year. Colorado sports betting officially launches tomorrow.

It would make sense, however, that the company is targeting the beginning of the NFL season as it did in New Jersey.

Those new state launches will likely include an app improved through ongoing upgrades to the FUSE technology launched last November.

A current focus is adding more touchpoints throughout the media app for a stronger integration with the betting app, Levy said.

Confident in surviving shutdown

One of the other glaring figures in theScore’s earnings report was its EBITDA loss. The company lost about $6.1 million last quarter.

TheScore does not provide guidance, but its financial filings suggest the company expects it can continue for at least the next 12 months.

Levy said the company is modeling for sports to return in earnest in late summer or early fall. TheScore is in a fortunate capital position with C$21.5 million in cash at the end of the quarter and is using Canadian federal programs to offset costs right now, he added.

“We feel fairly confident we’ll be able to manage through this and come out much stronger on the other side,” Levy said.

‘Pretty good action’ for NFL Draft

The media app saw huge engagement for the content created for the NFL Draft. Alongside various stories, the company also launched contests, including predicting the top 10 choices, which had more than 100,000 people sign up.

But theScore Bet also saw its first significant US action in more than a month, which led to “pretty good action,” Levy said.

“We had real exciting interest,” he said. “And I’m not just talking about people making big bets. This is like the average guy who loves the NFL and wanted to put a couple of bucks down on who he thought would be first or how many quarterbacks would go in the first round.”

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- Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.
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