Sports betting and media firm theScore will initiate what it described as a major expansion of its US mobile sports betting platform, through a multi-state market access framework agreement with Penn National Gaming. In connection with the framework agreement, Penn National has also agreed to take a strategic equity stake in theScore.

The 20-year framework agreement provides theScore with the right to obtain market access to offer online and mobile sports betting and i-gaming applications in 11 states where Penn National operates casinos and racetracks. These rights include “first skin” access rights in Louisiana and Mississippi, “second skin” access rights in Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Ohio, and Texas, and “third skin” access rights in Michigan, Massachusetts, Maine, and Kansas. 

theScore’s ability to launch and operate online and mobile sports betting and i-gaming applications in these states will depend on the adoption of laws and regulations permitting online and mobile sports betting and i-gaming, as well as receipt of all relevant licenses and approvals. To date, Indiana and Iowa have already enacted laws that will permit the company to exercise its market access rights under the framework agreement, while several other states are actively considering legislation to legalize online and mobile sports wagering.

Concurrently, the company has also announced a US$10m private placement of Class A subordinate voting shares, at a price of US$0.45 (C$0.59) per Class A Share. Penn National has subscribed for US$7.5m of Class A Shares as part of the private placement, alongside other investors including John Levy Family Holdings Ltd, the family holding company of theScore Founder and CEO John Levy

Proceeds from the private placement will be used to facilitate the expansion of the company’s sports betting platform in the US, including the funding of an upfront market access fee of US$7.5m due to Penn National under the framework agreement. Closing of the placement, expected to occur on or about August 9, 2019, is subject to approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

“Securing this highly-coveted partnership with Penn National is a major step towards our goal of becoming a leader in mobile sports betting in the United States,” said John Levy, Founder and CEO of theScore. “We are thrilled that Penn National believes in, and has invested in, our vision of an integrated approach to media and sports betting and we can’t wait to unveil the best-in-class mobile betting experience that we’ve been building for sports fans.”

theScore has been a trailblazer in the sports media landscape for years, and we are excited to be forming a strategic partnership with John and his team as they embark on the first truly integrated sportsbook and sports media platform,” said Jon Kaplowitz, SVP Interactive Gaming for Penn National Gaming.

theScore also confirmed that it remains on schedule for the launch of its mobile sports betting application in New Jersey, subject to receiving all relevant licenses and approvals from the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC). theScore’s mobile sports betting applications will leverage proprietary sports betting platform technology by US based i-gaming and sportsbook provider Bet.Works.