The Colorado sports betting market got another operator today with theScore Bet finally going live in its second US state.
LSR caught up with theScore CEO John Levy before the launch to ask about the changes a still young sports betting operator needs to make to work as a multi-state operator.
- An upcoming Indiana sports betting launch.
- Launching iGaming after securing an online casino license in New Jersey.
- Staying aggressive in the search for more market access.
LSR: How have the last couple of months been as the company prepares to evolve into a multi-state sports betting operator?
Levy: Everyone across the company, but especially our product and engineering teams, worked tirelessly to successfully bring our uniquely integrated media and betting experience to Colorado in time for football season. On top of the complex logistical and technical requirements of going multi-state, we made significant enhancements to our platform, including updates to payments and promotions, as well as our new multi-state account and wallet infrastructure, which will be integral as we continue to expand into new states to provide the most seamless user experience.
I’m proud of the entire team and know the fans in Colorado are going to love theScore Bet. We’ve also been busy getting ready to launch theScore Bet in Indiana, subject to regulatory approval, and securing market access in New Jersey for online casino – another important step in our evolution as a leader in gaming.
LSR: This will be the first time theScore Bet enters a state that has its own TV media market. How active does theScore Bet intend to be when it comes to TV ads in Colorado and Indiana? Will the focus only be on theScore Bet or will the media app also get air time?
Levy: Our strategy first-and-foremost is focused on our large, engaged and highly-loyal addressable audience on our media app in Colorado. We have no intention of getting into an arms race with heavy above-the-line advertising, so don’t expect to see us blanketing the airwaves with ads. By concentrating on our own audience, while also pairing that with smart and strategic performance marketing, we can deliver highly compelling offers that provide genuine and tangible value to bettors.
Just like we did with our media app, we are going to build a loyal user base with smart and strategic marketing. Rushing out to grab quick and, ultimately, unsustainable market share at a high-cost is not our business model.
LSR: Speaking of the database of theScore media app customers, you’ve mentioned before that about 75% of your NJ bettors came from within the app. Should we expect similar numbers in Colorado and Indiana? How do those states rank in terms of total theScore media app users?
Levy: This metric supported what we’ve always thought: that a significant percentage of our media app users would also be interested in betting. We are encouraged by the early returns and believe we’ve only scratched the surface in terms of the integrations between our media and gaming platforms, with deeper enhancements set to roll-out into the fall.
We won’t speculate on how those numbers might compare in Colorado and Indiana, and we don’t publicly break-out media app user numbers by state, but are very excited about the opportunities for us given the sizeable and passionate sports audience in Colorado.
LSR: How will theScore Bet measure its success in Colorado and Indiana? Is there a market share goal?
Levy: We decided that when becoming a sportsbook, we were going to build a long-term, sustainable, and successful gaming operation. We are eager to get started in these two great sports markets and ingratiate our best in class product and experience to fans.
Our success won’t be measured in the first few quarters, but anticipate we’ll soon start seeing the same momentum that we are in New Jersey, which we launched in under a year ago.
We’re perhaps perceived as the underdogs by many, and we don’t mind that tag at all. It was the same when we were competing with some of the biggest names in sports media with our scores and news app.
But today we’re a leader there, and in time we believe we’ll hold the same leadership position and prominent market share in gaming by staying true to our approach in putting the user first.
LSR: You launched an impressive promotion to return 5% of bets, up to $2,500, to bettors based on their wagers through mid-September. How has that promotion paid off so far in New Jersey and can we expect more innovative campaigns in the new markets?
Levy: The response to our unique Cashback promotion has been great, but I think what that really demonstrated was an appetite by sports fans for promotions that were easy to understand and simple to unlock for all types of bettors.
We are always innovating to find new ways to engage our audience, and the same applies to our marketing and promotional tactics.
LSR: With Colorado and Indiana soon live, what becomes the bigger task: focusing on those new markets or finding the next state? Is theScore Bet eyeing states that won’t require a land-based partner like Tennessee and Virginia?
Levy: Both are important as we continue to grow and establish theScore Bet. Our goal is to become a true gaming leader in North America and we are aggressively pursuing a myriad of market access opportunities across the country – like the deal we just did recently for online casino access in New Jersey.
We have a first-class team to execute on these initiatives simultaneously and evolve theScore Bet into a gaming powerhouse.