theScore Lands Illinois Access in Deal with Caesars

Posted on: March 29, 2021, 11:22h. 

Last updated on: March 29, 2021, 11:52h.

Score Media and Gaming Inc. (NASDAQ:SCR) said it’s procuring access to the fast-growing Illinois sports betting market via an agreement with Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR).

theScore Bet
Harrah’s Joliet in Illinois. theScore Bet is partnering with Caesars to enter that state. (Image: Caesars)

The Canadian sports wagering company, also known as theScore, will offer its Score Bet mobile app in the state through an arrangement with Caesars’ Harrah’s Joliet Hotel & Casino, pending approval from the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB).

Under the agreement, Caesars will receive a percentage of revenue derived from theScore Bet’s mobile sports betting operations in Illinois, subject to certain annual minimum guaranteed amounts,” according to a statement issued by the Toronto-based company.

Specific financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but theScore will reimburse “for certain costs and licensing fees.”

“The agreement spans an initial term of 10 years, with a 10-year renewal term, exercisable at theScore’s option,” according to the statement.

theScore Bet is slated to be live in Illinois in the second half of this year.

theScore Using Familiar Playbook

In entering Illinois, theScore is capitalizing on the often used “second skin” arrangement deployed throughout the gaming industry over the course of sports wagering’s still nascent domestic boom.

Under those accords, an operator — in this case Caesars — with a license to offer sports betting in a particular market may have multiple permits in a specific state. That company can monetize the unused skin by hooking up with a partner that wants access to that state.

A recent example of such an arrangement arrived last month, when Penn National Gaming’s (NASDAQ:PENN) Penn Interactive unit landed New York access through a deal with Rivers Casino & Resort. As part of that pact, Rush Street Interactive (NYSE:RSI) — the online gaming arm of River parent Rush Street — is gaining access to Maryland, Missouri, and Ohio — markets where Penn already holds skins.

For theScore, Ample Illinois Allure

Fresh off its February initial public offering (IPO) that brought the company to the Nasdaq Stock Market, Score Media is targeting the US market as a growth-driver, and Illinois is an excellent springboard for that growth.

The fifth-largest state by population is regularly posting record monthly handle figures. In January, its handle ranked fourth in the nation, with signs it’s rapidly catching up to Nevada and Pennsylvania. Experts widely believe that as the Illinois market matures, it will be not only the dominant sports betting state in the Midwest, but one of the largest in handle terms in the country.

To date, Score Media is operational in Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, and New Jersey — the largest sports betting state in the US.

Analysts also view the company as one of the prime beneficiaries of single-game wagering coming to Canada, where the operator sports dominant brand recognition.