Fubo Sportsbook has been putting the pieces together for an eventual launch in New Jersey for quite a while. It has now secured market access into the Garden State, pending regulatory approval.
That doesn’t mean NJ gamblers will see another sports betting app available anytime soon, though. The brand still has a lot of work to do to actually take its NJ sports betting platform live.
How Fubo Sportsbook will enter New Jersey
On Thursday, fuboTV announced a deal with Caesars Entertainment. So once the app is ready and receives regulatory approval, it will operate under the Caesars Interactive license (along with WynnBet, 888sport, and Caesars Sportsbook).
The partnership gives the media company, which is making its first foray into offering gambling as well, access into not only NJ but Indiana as well.
Additionally, fuboTV announced it reached terms with MLB and the NBA for authorized gaming operator status. Among other things, that gives the company access to the coveted official data feeds.
This deal essentially represents one of the last items for fuboTV to accomplish before it can go live. The process began last year when it acquired Vigtory Sportsbook.
That acquisition also came with licensure to operate a New Jersey online sportsbook. At the time, Vigtory had already been in negotiations for market access with an NJ casino, but wouldn’t disclose which.
Prior to acquiring Vigtory, fuboTV had primarily been a streaming live television and on-demand video service. That is still the primary product.
A press release says it plans to launch in the fourth quarter of this year. Could that be a little too ambitious? How integrated into the streaming product will the sportsbook be? Those are questions that the company will have to answer soon.
Challenges of a novel product
The same press release says that fuboTV plans to marry its streaming media and sports betting platforms into the one “seamless viewing and wagering experience.” There could be some issues with that, however.
First off, there are responsible gambling concerns. If gambling is integral to the streaming product, how does fuboTV ensure that minors and people with compulsive gambling issues aren’t placing bets? That leads directly to compliance issues.
It’s illegal in NJ for anyone under the age of 21 to gamble. Thus, will fuboTV only sell streaming subscriptions to people who are at least that old? Also, it’s illegal to even market sports betting to people who are on self-exclusion lists, much less give them access to a sportsbook. Will fuboTV ensure that subscribers aren’t on any of those lists before giving them access?
It just may not work
Finally, there are quality concerns. Live sports streaming and in-game wagering already suffer lags as compared to real-time. If fuboTV tries to pack both products into one feed simultaneously, those issues could compound.
In that regard, competitors in both the gambling and streaming media industries would have superior products. For example, say you’re watching a New Jersey Devils game on NBC and want to check the goal totals market.
Opening up the sportsbook segment of fuboTV might increase the lag in the game feed, which would, in turn, put you at a competitive disadvantage as far as betting the game goes. It might be better and more enjoyable to instead keep the game playing as it is and just open a sportsbook app on your phone.
That’s a big reason why to this point, no other media company has also tried to be the book, just partnering with sportsbooks instead. The technology simply hasn’t conquered the issue of “sidelining,” or the advantage that in-person spectators have in terms of live betting because they are watching the event in real-time.
fuboTV could sidestep these issues by parceling the two products out. That would completely undo its novel approach to either industry, though. It’s a tall order, but one the company seems determined to take on at this point.