Live sport TV streaming platform fuboTV Inc has issued a binding letter of intent to acquire sports betting and interactive gaming company Vigtory and expects to launch a sportsbook before the end of the year.

The acquisition, terms of which have not been disclosed, is subject to the execution of a definitive acquisition agreement and the satisfaction of certain closing conditions and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

In a statement, fuboTV said it intends to leverage Vigtory’s sportsbook platform and digital gaming assets, and its consumer-driven betting technology, to develop a frictionless betting experience for its customers. Additionally, Vigtory has been in discussions for market access agreements in the eastern part of the United States and currently has a deal secured in Iowa through Casino Queen.

Vigtory was founded in 2019 by digital sports entrepreneur Sam Rattner and backed by SeventySix CapitalScott Butera, who was the president of interactive gaming at MGM Resorts International and was instrumental in launching BetMGM, joined Vigtory as Rattner’s co-CEO in 2020.

Prior to MGM, he was commissioner of the Arena Football League and held C-suite leadership positions at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tropicana Entertainment, Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino and Trump Entertainment, among other gaming businesses.

Under the proposed acquisition, both Butera and Rattner will join fuboTV’s gaming division as president and COO, respectively.

Additionally, fuboTV announced today more details of its online wagering strategy. Through its December 2020 acquisition of Balto Sports and its content automation software, the firm intends to launch a free to play gaming experience this summer, which will be available to all consumers whether or not they are fuboTV subscribers.

The service will first launch in a standalone app and later be integrated directly into the fuboTV user experience. The sportsbook app will enable consumers to see current betting lines, place a variety of wagers, cash in their winnings and much more across their favorite sports. Finally, the company expects to integrate the sportsbook into fuboTV’s live TV streaming platform for a seamless viewing and wagering experience.

“We believe online sports wagering is a highly complementary business to our sports-first live TV streaming platform,” said David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV. “We don’t see wagering as simply an add-on product to fuboTV. Instead, we believe there is a real flywheel opportunity with streaming video content and interactivity. 

“Our free to play gaming experience, which will be available to all consumers, will build further scale to fuboTV, essentially acting as another lead generator for driving subscribers to our streaming video platform and, ultimately, our sportsbook. We not only expect sports wagering to become a new line of business and source of revenue, but we also expect that it will increase user engagement on fuboTV resulting in higher ad monetization, better subscriber retention and reduced subscriber acquisition costs.”

He added: “The proposed acquisition of Vigtory will give fuboTV the technology to build a consumer-driven sports betting product and launch it before the end of this year. It will also help us solve two hurdles that challenge other media companies who want to enter the wagering market. 

“First, Sam and Scott have years of experience navigating the complex gaming regulatory environment and, in fact, already have a first market access agreement completed. Second, fuboTV can leverage its own first party user behavior data to understand our consumers’ viewing preferences, and when and how to prompt them to consider placing bets. Uniquely, fuboTV will be a media company and sportsbook all-in-one.”