TheScore Bet Announces NJ Sports Betting Exit Plans

Sports gamblers of New Jersey that hold accounts with theScore Bet app recently received an unexpected piece of communication in their email. The message contained therein revealed that the operator would in the near future be closing down its US-based gambling operation. 

The Toronto-based company would in a matter of weeks wrap up business in the US online sports betting industry. This means that Iowa, Indiana, Colorado and New Jersey sports betting would have to brace for the exit. 

A part of the email that has sent shock-waves among bettors in the affected states reads, “We are writing to inform you that theScore Bet will be discontinuing its NJ online sports betting operations in the United States (New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa) on Friday, July 1, 2022. theScore Bet will continue to operate in Ontario, Canada. 

We sincerely thank you for being a customer of theScore Bet and look forward to continuing to service you until we discontinue our U.S. operations on July 1, 2022.“

Are stakeholders really surprised by this announcement?

Last fall, there was news that Penn National Gaming had acquired Score Media and Gaming Inc. at an estimate cost of $2 billion in combined cash and stock. Penn is also the umbrella group under which the popular Barstool Sportsbook app operates. There is no doubt as to the huge following that the Barstool brand commands in the gambling market. 

Judging from the immense customer inclination towards choosing Barstool over any other sportsbook brand, it was only a matter of time until the others started falling off the market. This announcement is therefore not news to many industry critics. For NJ gamblers, the ending of theScore Bet US operations will only make sense with a clear understanding of the business. 

Many people are not aware that the sports betting app has its roots in New Jersey and not Canada as it has been popularly communicated. The operations of theScore Bet debut in 2019 following a land-based partnership with Monmouth Park. News of the launch is perhaps what people associate the existence of the brand to; not many people have heard theScore Bet app mentioned in an NJ sports betting conversation.

Assuming that you live in an area of New Jersey where people speak regularly about theScore Bet app, fair enough. Well, how about media presence – does the brand ever run commercials? The truth of the matter is that the business never really took off and especially in the Garden State where it was launched. Since there is no breakdown of official monthly revenue figures per brand from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, it is almost impossible to narrow down on the performance of theScore Bet app during its active period. 

The only available leads in this regard would be PlayNJ analysts’ opinions – their estimation is that theScore Bet brand activities account for only 0.5% of the market. This is a deep contrast to the evident success that Barstool Sportsbook has so far attained in the market. Barstool was launched in August 2021 and the Freehold Raceway’s monthly sports betting revenue has skyrocketed.

Until April 2022, the financial reports of Freehold reveal that the sportsbook brand has bagged $6.3 million in NJ sports betting revenue. If the revenue up to 2021 is considered, the cumulative total comes to $410,729. The variation of the first four months of 2021 is that the figures included a Parx-branded retail sportsbook. The Freehold License accommodates two more betting apps: PlayUp Sportsbook and betParx. They were both launched after the debut of Barstool. 

Crucial Information for NJ account holders

In the email that was sent out to all players with accounts on theScore Bet, the operator mentioned some important dates. Starting from June 15, sports bettors in New Jersey will not be able to place bets or make deposits using the app. Players who have funds in their accounts will however be allowed to withdraw. If there are still accounts with funds by June 16, the management of theScore Bet will start helping its customers to make withdrawals. 

If you have money in your account and do not qualify for any of the available withdrawal methods, a physical check will be dispatched to your address. Once the month ends and July begins, theScore Bet will be officially moved to the New Jersey sports betting sidelines to join the likes of 888sport and Resorts Sportsbook. 

Addressing pending queries

Even though the company will no longer be operational by the start of the third quarter of 2022, customer service channels will remain open for purposes of addressing pending queries. With the exit of theScore Bet, there will be a third skin slot available on the Monmouth Park operating license – interested parties can seek more information on this. 

There are discussions around companies launching in 2022 and most of these already have market access deals. The slot will remain available until a suitable provider asks for it- much like what SugarHouse Casino did with Golden Nugget internet gaming license.

The NJ gambling market is still large even as some players choose to step aside. It is only a matter of time before a new player jumps into the heat of the action. theScore Bet also had an app slot at Bally’s so the market has an opening in that regard as well. 

Final Thought

The success of any business depends on many variables that must all be explored vigorously and at the same time. By the time a business announces that it is time to close operations, all avenues for reviving it have probably been explored. In the case of theScore Bet, the betting provider failed to position itself as a worthy competitor in the market. It was therefore easy for players to ignore it in favor of brands that had a strong visual campaign because they could not notice it anyway.

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