Penn National Gaming announced Tuesday that it had completed its $2 billion acquisition of theScore, which is intended to vastly broaden its penetration of the North American sports betting market.
“We’re excited to be creating this powerful new entertainment flywheel that will provide us with multiple growth channels that transcend our current business verticals,” Penn National President and CEO Jay Snowden said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
On Aug. 5, Penn National announced the deal with Toronto-based Score Media and Gaming Inc. to coincide with the Pennsylvania company’s quarterly earnings report. It gives Penn National a second sportsbook under its umbrella, along with Barstool Sportsbook, and it gives the broad U.S. gaming operator a strong future anchor in the nascent Canadian sports betting market.
“It is a truly exciting time to join Penn National and collaborate with their team to build a highly innovative and first-of-its-kind sports media and gaming company,” John Levy, chairman and CEO of theScore, said in his own statement. “There is natural alignment between the two companies, and we are perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growing entertainment opportunities across mobile sports media, sports betting and online casino. We believe the combined company is well-positioned to continue growing our business across North America, including the expected opening of sports and iGaming in Ontario later this year.”
Tech innovation was a big attraction
The executives stated in their prior announcement that theScore, which has a broad digital sports media product as well as a betting app, would continue operating as a stand-alone operation out of the Canadian headquarters overseen by the Levy family.
Its betting app, theScore Bet, is live in New Jersey, Iowa, Indiana, and Colorado. Because of the company’s familiarity to Canadians, it is expected to become a market leader when Ontario commences commercial sports betting within the next few months.
Snowden has said he was impressed by theScore’s track record of innovation, much like the appeal he saw in Barstool Sports, in which Penn National previously invested $163 million to buy a 36% share. In addition, theScore brings some new technology capabilities to PNG, as it is developing its own risk management and trading and player account services that the Barstool Sportsbook will also be able to utilize.
“Adding theScore’s fully integrated media and betting platform and cutting-edge technology will further strengthen Penn National’s existing ecosystem and ability to seamlessly serve its customers,” Snowden said Tuesday. “Pairing theScore with Barstool Sports provides Penn National with two of North America’s most powerful and unique sports media assets, with the capabilities to generate best-in-class engagement and enhanced customer acquisition and retention across its media and gaming properties.”
The original announcement of the deal indicated Penn National would fund half of the acquisition with $1 billion cash and the remainder from stock. Shareholders in theScore gained a 7% share in the merged company, while prior Penn National shareholders retained 93%.