Still known to the general public primarily as a sports streaming service, Fubo fully entered Iowa’s sports wagering landscape Wednesday. The mobile sportsbook is expected to roll out in additional states both this quarter and in early 2022.
Fubo Gaming was the second full-on mobile launch in as many days in Iowa, with Barstool Sportsbook taking its first online wagers Tuesday. Overall, there are 17 mobile operators in the Hawkeye State, which has solidified its status as a top-half market in the nation for generating handle thanks in large part to full mobile registration being available since the start of the year.
Iowa set an all-time monthly handle record in September with $210.4 million wagered and will become the eighth state to clear $2 billion in all-time handle in the post-PASPA era when it releases its October revenue report. Since remote registration took effect, 86.6% of Iowa’s handle has come from mobile and online wagering, compared to 70.4% in 2020, when in-person registration was in place.
Integration delivers omni-screen experience
The integration of fuboTV with Fubo Sportsbook is the key component of mobile wagering on the platform. Bettors can use the “Watching Now” feature to have data from the streaming service offer the ability to wager on the game they are watching, and the mobile app has the capability to follow what viewers are watching for offerings even as they rotate through channels.
“FuboTV’s vision to define a new category of interactive sports and entertainment television takes another major step forward with the launch of Fubo Sportsbook,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO of fuboTV. “This is a pivotal moment not just for fuboTV, but for the U.S. sports wagering and entertainment industries because it is the first time the two are truly coming together in one ecosystem. It’s important to realize that Fubo Sportsbook is not simply an add-on product to fuboTV, but a product synced with the live TV streaming experience.
“We expect this integration will create a flywheel that improves engagement and retention, as well as advertising revenue. In the coming months, we plan to further integrate our sportsbook with fuboTV to create a comprehensive and engaging TV and wagering experience.”
Fubo offered some data points about its potential for growth as it looks to roll out in other states. It cited research from an article published by Deloitte in December 2018, in which it stated that “nearly 90% of U.S. TV sports viewers are likely to watch a game if they bet on it, and the same number saying they’re most likely to bet on a game if they’re watching it.” The streaming service also projected that approximately half of its users are interested in wagering, and offered guidance from its second-quarter earnings letter to shareholders that it would have an estimated 900,000 subscribers by the end of 2021.
“We’re thrilled to launch Fubo Sportsbook and begin to bring U.S. sports fans a next-level interactive viewing and betting experience — one entirely tailored to the sports and entertainment they care about most,” said Scott Butera, president of Fubo Gaming. “As the industry continues to expand, it is increasingly important to meet sports fans’ growing demand for personalized and immersive experiences. By integrating with fuboTV, we aim to make that a reality.”
Iowa a demanding testing ground
One of the unique features of Iowa as a mobile sports betting market is its rather eclectic mix of heavyweights (Caesars, FanDuel, and DraftKings), local mobile operators (Q Casino and Elite), and other online outfits that have either carved out a comfortable market share or are looking to do so as newcomers. In that regard, Fubo Sportsbook will have its work cut out in terms of creating a template to use for its impending launches in other states.
The field in Iowa is dominated primarily by Caesars and DraftKings, which combined for more than $131.3 million (70.4%) of September’s $186.5 million mobile handle. FanDuel and BetMGM accounted for another $39.2 million, and the other 10 operators in the state generated a combined $16 million worth of wagers.
Though Fubo Sportsbook is a skin of Casino Queen, the importance of the retail tether is negligible. Fubo Sportsbook’s success will depend on its subscriber base, and for those subscribers to be able to navigate “Watching Now” for a seamless integration that will enhance the experience of in-game bettors as the primary audience it looks to capture.