Toronto-based media and sports betting firm theScore will now be able to make its first foray into the burgeoning New Jersey sports betting space following initial approval by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. The firm’s subsidiary, Score Digital Sports Ventures has been granted authorization by the division to engage in internet and mobile sports wagering activities in the state.

In accordance with DGE protocol, theScore will undergo a soft-launch of its sportsbook app with a select group of sports bettors in New Jersey in the coming days, ahead of its anticipated state-wide launch in advance of football season.

Founder and CEO John Levy welcomed the approval, saying: “This is a huge milestone and a result of the tireless hard work that has gone into getting our sportsbook ready for launch. We can’t wait to debut a best-in-class sports betting offering in New Jersey, delivering a truly unique and holistic sports media and wagering experience for fans.”

theScore became the first media company in North America to announce plans to operate a sports betting platform in December 2018 after finalizing an official licensing partnership for New Jersey market access with Darby Development LLC, the operator of Monmouth Park Racetrack, and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

Last month, the firm announced a major expansion to its US mobile sports betting platform through a strategic multi-state market access framework agreement with North America’s biggest regional gaming operator Penn National Gaming

The framework agreement provides theScore with the right to offer online and mobile sports betting and i-gaming applications in 11 states where Penn National operates casinos and racetracks, subject to applicable state gaming laws and regulations.