Penn National Gaming has just made a huge bet on the Canadian sports betting market, buying Score Media and Gaming (theScore) for $2 billion in cash and stock.
“We are thrilled to be acquiring theScore, which is the number one sports app in Canada and the third most popular sports app in all of North America,” Jay Snowden, the president and CEO of Penn National, said in a press release announcing the deal. “theScore’s unique media platform and modern, state-of-the art technology is a powerful complement to the reach of Barstool Sports and its popular personalities and content.”
In short: Don’t be surprised to see Dave Portnoy in a Canadian Mountie costume at some point in the not-too-distant future.
“We are now uniquely positioned to seamlessly serve our customers with the most powerful ecosystem of sports, gaming, and media in North America, ultimately creating a community that doesn’t currently exist,” Snowden continued. “Users will enjoy a unique mobile sports betting and iCasino platform with highly customized bets and enhanced in-gaming wagering opportunities, along with highly engaging, personalized sports and entertainment content, and real time scores and stats. We believe this powerful new flywheel will result in best-in-class engagement and retention.”
theScore will remain as is
Under the terms of the deal, the Levy family — who created theScore in 2012 — will remain in charge of the day-to-day of the company, including the Ontario operations hub.
“This deal brings together two companies that share a vision for how media and gaming intersect, and we could not be more excited to join the Penn National family,” said John Levy, the chairman and CEO of theScore. “I’m proud of theScore team and all of our accomplishments, and believe the time is right to take the next step and align with a company in Penn National with the resources and scale to accelerate our business. We are excited to join forces with Penn to form the most powerful media and gaming company in North America.”
This deal comes on the heels of the Canadian government legalizing single-game sports wagering, which is expected to launch before the end of 2021.
“We have been strategic partners with Penn National since 2019 and have come to realize that they have the same strong culture and appreciation for how to grow a business,” Levy continued. “Jay and his team have done a tremendous job building an exceptional retail business and online gaming platform in partnership with Barstool Sports and we are confident that by combining our leading sports media brand and proprietary technology, we will solidify Penn National as a market leader.”
Penn National plans to keep theScore running as a stand-alone business, with headquarters in Toronto. Additionally, theScore app will remain under the same branding.