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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Penn National Doubles Down on Sports Betting, Acquires theScore

  • Penn National Gaming made a major addition to its sports betting portfolio by acquiring theScore for roughly $2 billion.
  • The acquisition gives Penn an established presence in Canada.
TheScore/Design: Alex Brooks

For 52 years, Penn National Gaming focused almost exclusively on horse racing and casinos, but since 2020, it has made a hard push into sports betting.

On Thursday, the company announced that it is acquiring Score Media and Gaming, operator of theScore, for approximately $2 billion.

The move gives Penn an established sports betting and media presence in Canada, where single-event sports betting is expected to become legal by the end of the year.

Penn purchased a 36% stake in Barstool Sports in January 2020 at a $450 million valuation. The company will increase its stake in Barstool to 50% in 2023, when it will also have the option to purchase the rest of the sports media and betting enterprise.

  • theScore’s sportsbook launched in 2019 and is available in Indiana, Iowa, Colorado, and New Jersey. Its score tracking and sports news app has over 4 million monthly users.
  • Analysts predict theScore’s yearly revenue will reach $85 million in 2022. 

theScore’s intellectual property is an equally valuable component in the transaction.

“Importantly, the transaction provides us with a path to full control of our own tech stack,” said Penn CEO Jay Snowden. “theScore has developed a state-of-the-art player account management system and is finalizing the development of an in-house managed risk and trading service platform.”

Score Media and Gaming’s stock was up over 76% following the announcement. Penn’s stock climbed 6%.

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