theScore Bet Goes Live With Iowa Sportsbook App

  • theScore launched its Iowa sportsbook on Tuesday through a multi-state deal with Penn National
  • CEO John Levy said he plans to capitalize on “a large base” of pre-existing theScore app users
  • The company first entered the US market in 2019, launching in three states in the past six months
  • Iowa sports betting reached new heights in 2020 after smashing consecutive handle records 
The flag of the state of Iowa
Through its multi-state agreement with Penn National Gaming, theScore Bet has launched its sportsbook app in the state of Iowa. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A fourth US market

theScore has entered the Iowa sports betting market after launching its sportsbook app, theScore Bet, in the Hawkeye State.

Iowans can place pre-game and in-play wagers

Canada-based gaming and sports media business theScore announced the launch on Tuesday. The company entered Iowa’s sports betting market through a multi-state market access framework agreement with Penn National Gaming. Through the app, Iowans can place pre-game and in-play wagers across all major leagues.

theScore Bet publicized the launch via a short video posted to its Twitter page:

After its Iowa launch, theScore Bet app is now live in four states, including Colorado, Indiana and New Jersey. John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore, described the company as “thrilled” to add Iowa to its list of active markets. He said the group aims to capitalize on “a large base” of Iowans who already use theScore’s sports news app.

One state at a time

Traditionally a sports media company, theScore first ventured into the world of sports betting in September 2019. Following an investment of C$40m (US$31m) from Fengate Asset Management, theScore Bet launched its sportsbook in New Jersey through a deal with Darby Development.

the Penn National deal opened the door to 11 different states

In the past six months, the company has entered three markets through its multi-state agreement with casino operator Penn National Gaming. Signed in July 2019, the Penn National deal opened the door to 11 different states for theScore Bet. The sportsbook went live in both Indiana and Colorado in September last year.

theScore has also made clear its intention to enter more markets in the near future. Outlining the group’s plans for expansion, Benjie Levy, president and chief operating officer for theScore, said: “We’ll be rolling into the greatest number of states possible.”

theScore saw the results of this continued expansion in its Q1 trading update for the 2021 financial year. The company struggled throughout early 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 on sporting events. However, for the three months ended November 30 2020, total gaming handle was up by 535% year-on-year, reaching $44m.

Iowa’s fast-growing market

Iowa became the 11th state to legalize sports betting in August 2019. Since then, a number of mobile sportsbooks have launched in the state, including BetRivers, PointsBet, William Hill and FanDuel.

Iowan bettors wagered a total of $104.8m in the last month of 2020

Last year, the market’s growth reached new heights. For the month of December, Hawkeye State sportsbooks broke state handle records for the fourth consecutive month. Iowan bettors wagered a total of $104.8m in the last month of 2020. The majority of that total was generated through online sportsbooks.

December’s record breaking handle came one month prior to the removal of an in-person registration requirement for Iowan sportsbooks. The change came into effect on January 1, and its removal spurred a flurry of sportsbook license applications. Operators expect to attract more signups as a result of the change in law.