Penn National Gaming Looks to Canada Expansion With $2bn theScore Acquisition a Done Deal

  • Penn is now the North American leader in digital sports content, gaming, and technology
  • A major goal is to enhance customer engagement, acquisition, and retention through the deal
  • Penn is also excited about entering the Canadian gaming market in the near future
  • The completion of the deal was initially set for Q1 2022, but relevant approvals came quickly
hand completing a white puzzle by adding the last jigsaw piece
Penn National Gaming has completed its $2bn acquisition of Score Media and Gaming, initially announced in August this year. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Past the finish line

Penn National Gaming has completed its acquisition of Score Media and Gaming Inc. (theScore) in a cash and stock deal worth around $2bn. The American casino and racetrack operator announced the news via Twitter on Tuesday:

According to an official press release, the acquisition makes Penn the leading company in North America’s digital sports content, gaming, and technology space. Penn will be integrating theScore’s modern technology and fully integrated betting and media platform into its current ecosystem.

theScore is the most popular sports media app in Canada, and the third most popular app of its kind in the United States.

A powerful player in sports media

Penn National Gaming already owns the popular sports media outlet Barstool Sports. The casino company’s existing sports betting and iGaming operations are Barstool-branded. Through its acquisition of the Toronto-based theScore, Penn can leverage two of North America’s most unique and powerful sports media assets. The goal is to create top-class engagement and improve customer acquisition and retention across its various gaming and media properties. 

the new opportunity that entering the Canadian gaming market presents

Penn National Gaming president and CEO Jay Snowden said of the latest deal: “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.” He also welcomed the new opportunity that entering the Canadian gaming market presents.

theScore CEO and chairman John Levy spoke about this exciting collaboration and the plans to create a very innovative and unique sports media and gaming company. He said: “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.”

Levy added that the combined company is now in a good position to expand across North America, particularly when regulated iGaming and sports betting launches in Ontario in the near future.

An efficient transaction

Penn National Gaming initially announced its planned acquisition of theScore back in August, when it outlined its intention to migrate its current betting products over to a platform that theScore is currently building.

The casino company is paying $17 in cash, plus 0.2398 shares for each theScore share, to a total consideration of about $34 per share. Existing Penn shareholders will hold about 93% of the new company, with theScore shareholders having a stake of about 7%.

well ahead of the original timeline indicating Q1 2022

The deal’s completion has been quicker than initially expected, well ahead of the original timeline indicating Q1 2022. There were no issues when it came to getting the relevant approvals from shareholders and the authorities. 

Penn National Gaming was one of the biggest regional gaming operators in the US even before this latest deal. It operates 43 properties across 20 states, covering online and retail gaming, live racing, and sports betting. In addition to its popular media app offering, theScore has sports betting operations up and running in Iowa, Indiana, Colorado, and New Jersey through the theScore Bet brand.