Three Years After NJ Launch, theScore Bet Is Ready For Home Crowd With Ontario Debut

Written By Bill Gelman on April 1, 2022
theScore Bet Ontario launch

TheScore Bet app is about to enjoy a homecoming celebration. Yes, we are talking about the same theScore Bet that debuted in the NJ sports betting market back in 2019.

The Garden State was the first legal jurisdiction in which the Toronto-based company started taking wagers. Here in the U.S., the product is also available in IndianaIowa and Colorado.

In New Jersey, theScore brand is in a different league compared to market leaders like FanDuelDraftKingsCaesarsBetMGM and Barstool.

However, with legal sports betting launching in Ontario, Canada on Monday, April 4, theScore Bet is upping its game.

The operator has even lined up some famous television stars to help out with its advertising launch campaign. Sound familiar?

Here is a look at how theScore Bet made its Garden State debut and why the Ontario launch is such a big deal.

New Jersey is where theScore Bet story begins

Believe it or not, theScore Bet has been part of the NJ sports betting landscape since the 2019 NFL season.  But theScore wasn’t a company like FanDuel or DraftKings with established daily fantasy sports customer bases.

And they weren’t associated with Caesars or MGM, two giants from the land-based casino gambling world with deep player databases.

However, theScore was and still is a sports media brand trying to make the natural transition to the sports betting world. TheScore, a sports news app, was also already delivering news on a daily basis to its North American audience.

Back in 2019, John Levy, the company founder and CEO, described the product as “a completely unique and ground-breaking mobile sports betting experience.”

“Millions of sports fans all over North America were already using theScore, with many relying on our data and content to help inform their betting decisions,” said Levy.

“Now, starting with fans in New Jersey, we’ll be able to bring the bet right to them.”

Think about it. A bettor reads a story regarding a piece of betting news regarding the Philadelphia Phillies or New York Yankees. Suddenly, the reader likes one side of the moneyline or point spread and wants to place a wager.

Well, theScore Bet app is a click away. It’s like going from a mobile sportsbook to a NJ online casino.

Hard to tell where TheScore Bet ranks with NJ sports bettors

TheScore Bet app shares a land-based partnership with Monmouth Park. Caesars Sportsbook (formerly William Hill) and SugarHouse are the other two brands operating under the license. These other two brands are affiliated with nearby casinos in Atlantic City and Philadelphia, respectively.

Unfortunately, New Jersey regulators do not break down monthly results by operator.

However, looking at the most recent year-to-date NJ sports betting revenue results, which includes the Super Bowl, Monmouth Park is sitting at the middle of the pack. The numbers include nine Atlantic City casinos and three New Jersey racetracks.

The reality is that nobody is catching up to the Meadowlands Racetrack thanks to the market dominance of FanDuel Sportsbook. The year-to-date total sits at $52.3 million. This is just for January and February.

Monmouth on the other hand has earned $2.1 million over the same period.

This ranks third among NJ racetracks as Freehold Raceway, led by Barstool Sportsbook, has reported $3.7 million.

Ontario sports betting is a whole different story

Up in Ontario, especially Toronto, gamblers are well aware of theScore brand.

Obviously, there is plenty of excitement building toward Monday’s sports betting launch. One could say theScore Bet brand is coming full circle back to where it all started.

And as far as building a customer base goes, Levy told PlayOntario “We expect to take a relatively significant share (of the market) right off the bat,”

He provided some strong reasons to support the positive outlook:

  • long, established history in Canada that includes providing betting content.
  • theScore’s unique evolution from a content provider to a sports betting company.
  • A vital partner in Penn National.
  • Strong, passionate engagement from its customers.

‘Get Into Bet Mode’ with theScore Bet

Another big difference between New Jersey and Ontario sports betting markets is advertising.

Next time you take a ride on the Garden State Parkway or the Atlantic City Expressway, see if you notice any billboards from theScore Bet. Radio and TV ads also seem to be non-existent.

North of the border is a whole different story as the company is rolling out an extensive “Get Into Bet Mode” campaign.

The TV spots even include Susie Essman (Susie Green from “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Rex Lee (Lloyd from “Entourage). Hey, the playbook is working with Caesars Sportsbook and the Mannings.

The two-and-half-minute clip below certainly offers some laughs.

The campaign will feature 30 second, 15 second and 6 second spots, a series of social ads, radio, digital and out-of-home assets and a full two-minute video. Additional creative will debut post-market launch.

“These video spots are an extension of how we serve fans, eliminating all the friction points for a streamlined betting experience. The heightened moments before a game are relatable, and that’s where Susie, Gerry [Dee] and Rex show up in their own uniquely entertaining ways to help our fans focus and get into Bet Mode,” Aubrey Levy, senior vice president, marketing and content, theScore, said in a press release. 

 “We’re excited to roll this campaign out across Ontario and finally bring theScore Bet to our home territory.”

Talk about stepping it up with the hometown bettors. One thing is for certain. TheScore Bet’s New Jersey launch simply set the stage for a much bigger event – the April 4, 2022 launch of Ontario mobile sports betting.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman has been reporting on the NJ gambling market since 2018, right around when the Garden State launched sports betting. Bill transitioned from lead writer for PlayNJ and NJ Gambling Sites to his current role as managing editor in 2020. Besides offering in-depth analysis on NJ gambling market trends and news, Bill regularly sits down with Atlantic City casino industry executives to offer readers exclusive interviews and comprehensive coverage. Bill received a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ithaca College. He has contributed to other Catena Media sites including The Lines, Legal Sports Report, PlayPennsylvania and PlayCanada.

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