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Penn National Gaming Acquires theScore Ahead of Canada Sports Betting Launch

Mitchell South

by Mitchell South in Sports Betting News

Aug 5, 2021 · 9:16 AM PDT

Canada Sports Betting - Penn National Gaming Acquires theScore
Canada celebrates a goal against Sweden during the third period of the title game of the IIHF world junior hockey championships, Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, in Buffalo, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jeffrey T. Barnes)
  • Penn National Gaming has acquired Score Media and Gaming (theScore)
  • Based in Canada, theScore operates an incredibly popular app with a variety of sports content
  • The move gives Penn a huge advantage ahead of the launch of single-game sports betting in Canada

A massive shift in the Canada sports betting industry took place Thursday, as Penn National Gaming announced their acquisition of Score Media and Gaming. The $2 billion transaction gives Penn National control of theScore, a Canadian digital media company that runs one of the most popular apps in all of sports.

While theScore is also a player in the sportsbook field, operating in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey, Penn National seems most interested in securing access to the Canadian market that will soon launch single-game wagering. Penn National’s expertise combined with theScore’s brand recognition in the Great White North could be a huge force in this emerging industry.

Penn National Gets Another Media Giant

The acquisition, completed for a total of $2 billion (USD) in cash and stock, will see Penn National Gaming take full control of theScore. Penn National already had a small equity stake in theScore through a 2019 agreement, and this transaction sees the casino giant assume majority control.

Keep Up with All the Latest Canada Sports Betting News

This isn’t the first time Penn has added a major sports content platform to their stable, as they acquired 36% of Barstool Sports back in January of 2020. Penn has since helped launch the Barstool Sportsbook across the US, and there’s little doubt they’ll be looking to do the same here with theScore north of the border.

A Household Name in Canada

Score Media and Gaming as it’s known today was founded in 2012, however, the company stems from a sports news TV station known as “The Score” that operated from 2000 to 2013. While theScore is operated under a new company primarily as a mobile app, this history gives them huge brand name recognition in Canada.

The mobile app is massively popular, with download numbers suggesting theScore is the most popular sports app in Canada, and third most popular in all of North America.

Penn will be looking to execute a similar strategy as they did with Barstool, bringing their wealth of gaming knowledge to a massive platform that has a well-established fanbase. Like their agreement with Barstool, theScore will remain largely unchanged, with CEO John Levy and his family retaining control over day-to-day operations.

Making Moves Before the Launch of Canadian Sports Betting

With single-event sports betting recently legalized in Canada, theScore has been positioning themselves to be industry leaders on their home turf. Headquartered in Toronto, theScore hasn’t been shy about their desire to bring a premier sports betting experience to Canadians when event wagering gets the green light.

Levy commented on the potential of the Canadian market in a public statement released after the transaction was made official, stating “We’ve built an innovative, technology-led integrated media and gaming business that has us poised for success across North America, including the highly anticipated upcoming rollout of commercial sports betting in Canada.”

Legalized single-game sports betting is expected to launch in provinces across Canada sometime before the end of 2021, and you can expect that Penn National Gaming will be making a lot of noise with theScore.

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