Score Media and Gaming recorded its strongest betting handle month to date, but recorded an operating loss of more than CAD$22m (USD$17.6m/£12.7m/€14.9m) during the third quarter, with negative gaming revenue.
In a trading update, Toronto-based theScore, which offers sports news and scores as well as betting in North America, said it brought in total revenue of C$6.4m in the three months to 31 May. Media revenue via its theScore app of C$8.9m was partially offset by negative net gaming revenue via its theScore Bet app of C$2.5m.
Gaming handle was C$73.0m, with March seeing its highest-ever handle for a single month of C$30.8m across the four US states where it is operational: New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa. Gross gaming revenue was negative C$40,000 in the quarter, while the C$2.5m negative net gaming revenue figure is inclusive of promotional costs and fair value adjustments on unsettled bets.
Media revenue in the quarter grew 270% year-over-year from C$2.4m for the same period last year and was up 5% from the same period in 2019.
theScore achieved record engagement on its sports media app in Q3, with 470.2 million user sessions up 19% compared to 2019. Users opened the app an average of 126.1 times each month, an all-time high for average monthly sessions per user.
theScore recorded a total operating loss of C$22.6m during the quarter compared to a loss of C$10.2m in the same period in 2020.
EBITDA loss in Q3 was C$21.1m compared to an EBITDA loss of C$8.7m for the same period last year. It said the wider EBITDA loss was driven primarily by additional expenses incurred in connection with the ongoing expansion of its gaming operations as well as costs and professional service fees related to the recently completed US initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq.
Operating expenses increased by 130% year-on-year to C$29.0m, with the general and administration costs linked to the IPO almost quadrupling to C$14.1m. Product development and content was up from C$1.6m to C$3.2m, with sales and marketing also notably lifting from C$1.8m to C$5.1m.
“theScore demonstrated continued momentum across our business in the fiscal 2021 third quarter as solid gaming handle was complemented by record third quarter media revenue,” said John Levy, Chairman and chief executive of theScore.
“We continue to work through the licensing process ahead of launches of theScore Bet in additional US states, with an expectation that we will at least double the number of markets in which we are live in the next 12 months.”
Levy sees its home market of Canada as an area for particular optimism following the passing of Bill C-218 which legalises single event sports wagering, paving the way for each Canadian province to implement a regulated sports betting framework.
He said: “With a large and passionate Canadian user base, strong brand identity and best in class integrated media and betting platforms, we are uniquely positioned for initial and long-term success in the market.
“Notably, there is an enormous potential market opportunity in our home province of Ontario, which is expected to be the largest regulated sports betting market in North America by population upon its expected opening later this year.
“We are actively working to ensure theScore Bet will be ready to launch sports betting and iGaming as soon as the Ontario market opens, subject to receipt of regulatory approval.”