The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has cleared Canadian media business theScore to launch its Bet.Works-powered sportsbook in the state.
This will see theScore soft launch its mobile sportsbook product for a select group of punters over the coming days.
Should this limited roll out go with a hitch, the regulator will give theScore the green light for a full launch, which is expected to take place ahead of the start of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) season, which kicks off on 5 September.
“This is a huge milestone and a result of the tireless hard work that has gone into getting our sportsbook ready for launch,” theScore founder and chief executive John Levy said.
“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.”
Preparations for the media giant’s entry to the sports betting market have been underway for over a year, with the company striking a sub-licensing partnership with Monmouth Park Racetrack operator Darby Development in December 2018.
Sportsbook technology startup Bet.Works will provide the software powering the offering, which will operate under theScore.Bet brand.
Plans are already underway to further expand the sportsbook into additional US states through an extensive market access agreement with Penn National Gaming (PNG).
This will see it permitted to launch first skins in Louisiana and Mississippi, second skins in Iowa, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio and Texas, as well as third skins in Kansas, Michigan, Maine and Massachusetts under PNG properties’ licenses.
PNG has taken a 4.7% equity stake in theScore as part of the 20-year agreement, worth approximately $7.5m, to cover $7.5m in market access fees. The sum owed to PNG may increase over time, as theScore launches in new states.
The operator acquired its equity stake in private placement of theScore Class A shares, through which $10m was raised. The remaining $2.5m will be used to fund future expansion.