Bet Section Aims To Convert More Of theScore’s Audience To Sports Betting

New features for theScore Bet Section increase the personalization and marketing push in the app for New Jersey bettors and sports fans.

TheScore’s marketing plan is to take a large swath of its media audience and introduce it to sports betting. The Toronto-based company continues to  invest more resources into that strategy, which includes the debut of Bet Section within theScore app.

Score Media and Gaming Inc. announced the details via press release.

This new feature has a dedicated home within theScore‘s media app. According to the release, Bet Section will take the company’s “innovative cross-platform media and betting experience with theScore Bet to the next level.”

TheScore will try to deliver even more customized content to app users. The plan is to focus that content on betting angles.

How theScore Bet Section feature works

The new features of theScore’s Android and iOS apps are live. The selling point is greater personalization.

For example, if you consume content from theScore about the New York Giants, you’ll receive notifications in the app about wagering opportunities on the Giants. The idea is that theScore is informing Garden State bettors about the NJ sports betting markets they are most likely interested in.

The customization features go beyond simple tailored alerts, however. The app will also deliver personalized promos to accompany the browsing of those markets.

If an app user should actually pull the trigger, they will enjoy revamped wager tracking as well. In addition to live tracking of the bet(s), users can see real-time cash-out offers.

Finally, theScore has integrated a social component. Users can see how picks are polling and use that information to guide their wagering if they choose.

Here is what John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore, had to say about the Bet Section feature.

“We launched theScore Bet on the premise that betting should be a natural extension of how fans consume sports, not an isolated transactional experience,” said Levy. “With the launch of Bet Section, we’re further fulfilling that mission by creating an unparalleled cross-platform experience that personalizes and streamlines the betting process for users as they interact with our media app. It’s natural, seamless and reinforces our cutting-edge approach in fusing media with gaming.”

This new thrust is designed to maximize the amount of time that users spend on the app and increase engagement. There’s sound logic behind aiming to increase those metrics.

Now is the time to invest in mobile apps

According to some recent research, consumers have never spent more money or time on mobile apps. In the third quarter of the current fiscal year, Android and iOS device users spent over $28 billion within apps, which is an increase of 20% year-over-year.

So how does that relate to sports betting? TheScore knows its customers are spending a good amount of time on their devices. Consumers have no qualms about spending their money via apps on those phones and tablets.

So, the trick is getting them to spend as much time as possible on theScore’s app instead of its competitors.

The “magic” behind that trick is simple but difficult to execute consistently. TheScore believes it can compete in the space, however, with its diverse and robust array of written and video content.

Convenience and functionality are two other important components, as users tend to dismiss apps quickly if they can’t find what they’re looking for easily.

There’s no guarantee that tailored content will actually make more theScore app users deposit funds into betting accounts, but not marketing the sportsbook this way would seem like punting on an obvious opportunity at a return on investment.

Further down the line, theScore has plans to enter the NJ online casino market. It announced a market access deal with Twin Rivers Worldwide Holdings, now Bally’s Corp., which is expected to take over ownership of Bally’s Atlantic City before 2020 comes to a close

For now, the focus is on sports betting.

At the very least, this new feature should make the app more useful for existing theScore Bet customers. TheScore hopes it will make the number of such consumers grow as well.

Can TheScore Bet Online Casino Compete In A Crowded NJ Market?

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Another online casino is coming to New Jersey. This time, it’s theScore Bet casino, thanks to Bally’s new owners.

If you’re keeping score of how many online casino options there are in New Jersey, you’re probably on the verge of losing count. And TheScore Bet Casino will soon be added to the myriad companies offering online versions of slots and table games.

There’s no exact launch date yet, but it will be another way for theScore Bet to try to snag a chunk of the millions of dollars gambled online in NJ each year.

Twin River Worldwide Holdings, which will provide NJ online casino access for theScore, has other matters to attend to first.

Details on theScore Bet online casino’s NJ entry

For the company, this will be a maiden voyage into the US online casino industry, with the intent to launch in the second half of 2021. The brand already operates an online sportsbook in NJ  and intends to do the same in Colorado and Indiana.

Securing the deal with Twin River is a preliminary regulatory step for theScore. The Canadian company still has to receive licensure from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement before it can take its casino product live in the state.

That’s not an issue for Twin River, however. It has its own business to attend to as far as the Garden State goes right now.

As part of the state’s regulatory approval of the recent Caesars-Eldorado merger, that company has to finalize its sale of Bally’s Atlantic City. Twin River is the buyer in that transaction.

Until that transaction is complete, Twin River can’t launch NJ online gambling verticals under its master license anyway. That gives theScore plenty of time to get its other ducks lined up.

A press release denotes that the agreement between the two companies spans the next decade. There isn’t much information about what games the casino will offer when it launches, however.

TheScore online casino better bring its A-game

To compete for a share of the NJ iGaming market, theScore Bet can’t offer an inferior product. The company is aware that standing out from the crowd will be important.

And it’s a big crowd, with 24 online casino apps and growing.

“The addition of an online casino offering to our award-winning and truly differentiated mobile sports betting platform broadens our reach and deepens our strong portfolio of assets,” said John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore.

“This is yet another step toward providing theScore’s media and betting patrons with a completely holistic and tightly integrated media and gaming experience.”

TheScore’s Atlantic City casino partner feels the same way. A statement points toward a key component of a successful online casino product.

“We are excited to partner with theScore and to provide our Atlantic City guests with a highly personalized iGaming experience,” said George Papanier, president and CEO of Twin River Worldwide Holdings.

Winning a big slice of the NJ online casino market share requires that personalized touch that Papanier referred to. It also requires a big menu of games that the provider constantly refreshes to keep players engaged.

And it wouldn’t hurt to back up those games with a rotating list of bonus offers and promotions.

TheScore Bet casino app likely has the technology to provide that experience, and it says it wants to start doing so late next year.

By that time, Twin River and Bally’s should have everything lined up for launch.

Getty Images/Michael H

Jersey Sides And Totals: Don’t Overreact With NFL Week 2 Up Ahead

For Week 2 of NFL season, we take a closer look at PointsBet, BetMGM and the newcomer theScore Bet and what NJ online sportsbook specials they have on tap.

It was great to see the NFL back and in full force last weekend.

As always, reflecting on the results yields questions that may not be resolved in Week 2 if not much later in the season.

In any case, here are some of my top-line thoughts:

  • Are the Patriots this good?
  • Are the Dolphins this bad?
  • Who are the Cleveland Browns?
  • Is Todd Gurley 100%?
  • Why were the Texans playing a “Prevent Defense” up 1 point with 40 seconds left to play?

As we dive into Week 2, it’s always important to not overreact to what happened during Week 1.

That’s the puzzle within sports betting to determine the myths versus reality. Forming an opinion on a game, a team, or a trend based on doing your homework is essential and placing and cashing a wager on your homework is a great feeling.

For all in New Jersey, there’s plenty of betting hub options. 

Several NJ sportsbooks raced to refresh their apps before the start of the NFL season, including BetMGMBorgata, and William Hill

TheScore betting app officially launched last week, and Unibet launched this week, bringing the number of NJ sports betting apps to 17.

In fact, there are enough apps for a New Jersey bettor to use a different one each week of the NFL regular season.

As I will do each week, this column will highlight up to three New Jersey sportsbooks and take a closer look at the promos, props, and specials that you should be aware of heading into the weekend’s football action.

For Week 2, I am looking at PointsBet, BetMGM, and theScore Bet.

Plenty of options at PointsBet

PointsBet made headlines Week 1 when a bettor used the points betting option to accrue cash as the Baltimore Ravens crushed the Dolphins, to the tune of $600,000.

I will spare you a long dissertation of explaining how points betting works here, so we will focus on the “standard” NFL betting opportunities that are available on PointsBet NJ sportsbook.

First off, PointsBet offers a cool promo rewarding bettors whose team scores first in Thursday’s or Monday’s games:

pointsbet nj sportsbook promo

Looking locally, PointsBet is offering local promos for the Jets, Giants, and Eagles games with a $6 bonus for every touchdown scored:

pointsbet make it rain promo nj

Each week, PointsBet offers customized team parlays with corresponding odds boosts:

pointsbet nfl odds boost nj

In addition to the team parlays offered above, there are also some customized player props available:

pointsbet custom player props new jersey

Keep in mind that you can also tweet to @PointsBetUSA to suggest ideas for any props that aren’t available.

In addition to the wide range of promos and props, PointsBet offers 70+ bet types on NFL game lines and totals:

pointsbet nj sportsbook

In addition to these traditional baseline bets, PointsBet also offers wagers on areas, such as:

  • Quarterback completion percentage.
  • Player rushing yards and player receiving yards.
  • Time of first touchdown (in seconds).

All things considered, there’s a ton of action for you to choose from on PointsBet.

What can BetMGM do for you in Week 2?

Prior to Week 1 of the NFL season, MGM rebranded its app … and gave it a new look and platform upgrade. BetMGM includes “NJ” as part of the branding refresh.

All season long, BetMGM is offering a Bet $10, Get $10 promotion in which the bettor will get a $10 free bet for any upcoming game on the schedule:

betmgm nfl betting

But I think the real headline with BetMGM NJ is its “Edit My Bet” feature that allows you to change any straight or parlay bet that has the cash-out option available. 

For example, if you are hyped about how your team played in the first quarter, this BetMGM feature allows you to increase your bet size during the action.

Here’s more direct from the app:

sports betting nj betmgm nfl

And speaking of parlays, BetMGM offers some pre-set “geographic” team double parlays for this week:

betmgm team parlays nfl

There are times, however, where BetMGM has a lapse that reminds us that they aren’t always up to 2019 standards. 

Case in point: Below is a listed prop for this weekend’s Buffalo BillsNY Giants game. The sides are inexplicably listed as Team 1 and Team 2.

betmgm ny giants nfl betting

Overall, there are some nice adds to the MGM offering, specifically the “Edit a Bet” feature. That said, there are always more opportunities to improve and add the scale and depth of props and promos.

How to score with TheScore sportsbook

TheScore Bet app launched just before Week 1 of the NFL kicked off.

It is a Canada-based sports information app that has a sleek, user-friendly design. Its sports betting app in New Jersey is a mirror image in format and design.

TheScore offers subscribers the opportunity to seamlessly switch from the news and information app to the betting app. 

For example, let’s say you’ve just read the news on theScore that Sam Darnold is out on Monday night versus the Cleveland Browns. So, you could then quickly click on theScore Bet icon embedded in the Browns-Jets game details to make a wager on the game:

thescore bet sportsbook new jersey

In terms of promotions, theScore Bet is offering an NFL promotion this week, awarding a $20 bet for anyone that bets a four-plus leg parlay:

thescore sportsbook nfl parlay bet

With a news and information hub as a backdrop, theScore sportsbook app delivers up-to-date stats and game information to help further educate the bettor. 

An example below as it relates to injuries for Sunday night’s Eagles-Falcons game:

eagles falcons thescore sportsbook nj

There is also a very handy stat-line statistical comparison of key offensive and defensive match-up categories:

thescore bet new jersey nfl bets

With all this great news and statistical information as a base, theScore Bet does fall a bit flat on its menu of current NFL betting options. 

For example, the list of available wagering options for Thursday’s Panthers-Buccaneers is extremely slim. 

Here is a “First Score Will Be” prop:

nfl betting thescore sportsbook

Also, if you are looking ahead to Sunday’s games and specifically the Giants-Bills game, as of midday Thursday, no props had yet to be posted. 

TheScore needs to do better than this:

thescore prop bets nfl football

Right now, theScore sportsbook is an excellent resource for pregame news, stats and information.

The options on the betting side of the equation right now are the equivalent of a “3 and Out” in NFL offensive parlance.

Other NJ sports betting promos of note

One other notable NFL promotion available this week is from DraftKings called the “Overreaction Redo” where DraftKings will provide up to a $25 free bet for any futures bet placed this week. 

It requires an “opt-in” with details below:

draftkings football redo promo

In looking ahead to the local NY and PA teams, here are the current Week 2 lines as of Thursday via PointsBet:

  • Giants +1.5 (-105) vs. Bills, a total of 43.5
  • Eagles -1.5 (-110) vs. Falcons, a total of 52.5
  • Jets (with Darnold out) +6.5 (-110) vs. Browns, a total of 43.
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Looking ahead to Sunday

To wrap up each column, I will be making three NFL picks.

Last week, after making my first three picks, I was quite content to finish at 2-1 as the Ravens and Vikings games were essentially over by halftime.

My third pick, the Redskins, were getting 10 points in Philly. The ‘skins raced to a 20-7 lead at halftime, only to be outscored 25-0 by the Eagles in the second half. 

Cue a Case Keenum touchdown pass with 0:12 left in the fourth quarter that delivered the classic “back-door cover” for me:

Last week: 3-0; season year to date: 3-0

  • Redskins: +10 over Eagles (Eagles 32-Redskins 27)
  • Viking: -4 over Falcons (Viking 28-Falcons 12)
  • Raven: -6.5 over Dolphins (Ravens 59-Dolphins 10)

NFL Week 2 picks

Eagles at Falcons total points 52.5, under

Over the last five head-to-head meetings, the Eagles-Falcons have combined to score 50 points only once: a 26-24 Falcons win in Atlanta in 2015, with the previous three meetings yielding totals of 30, 25, and 39.

Texans -9 over Jaguars

The Texans play their home opener after suffering an excruciating last-second loss in New Orleans on Monday night.

They need to bounce back quickly and avoid an 0-2 start by beating the Jaguars who will now have to start rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II with Philly legend Nick Foles out indefinitely with a broken collarbone.

Steelers -4 over Seahawks

The Steelers offense could not have looked any more inept last Sunday night, putting up a measly 3 points at New England.

The play is that they will rebound in this spot versus a Seahawk team that’s not as formidable away from their home field of screaming “12s.”

TheScore Sportsbook Makes Its Official Move Into NJ Sports Betting With NFL Season On Horizon

After days of testing and prep, theScore Bet sportsbook app officially joins the NJ online sports betting crowd, complete with a unique betting experience.

TheScore Bet’s testing phase is complete.

As of today, the NJ sports betting app is live and available to all iOS and Android customers.

The press release announcing the official launch in New Jersey offers a little teaser of what customers can expect: A platform that “delivers a holistic media and betting experience.”

However, this launch is unique compared to the rest of the field.

How, you ask?

Because theScore is the first media company in North America “to create and operate a mobile sportsbook in the United States.”

Fox Bet (connected with Fox Sports), launched early Saturday morning in NJ. But in that case, we are talking about a rebranded app replacing BetStars from The Stars Group.

TheScore sportsbook was built from the ground up.

A ‘seamlessly integrated’ sportsbook app

For that reason, John Levy, founder and CEO of theScore, is excited about sharing the finished product with NJ bettors.

He sums things up by calling the app “a completely unique and ground-breaking mobile sports betting experience.”

Plus, the product is natively built and “seamlessly integrated with our market-leading media app.”

“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.”

What we know about theScore sportsbook

TheScore Bet fills the third and final allotted skin under the Monmouth Park license. William Hill NJ and PlaySugarHouse sportsbook are the others.

The newest offering is built from the ground up by the same production team behind the company’s industry-leading sports app. It incorporates backend sports betting platform technology from Bet.Works.

Users who have an account at theScore will need to create a new login for the betting app and then link the two accounts.

Here are some features available to NJ bettors:

  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Wide variety of pre-game/in-game markets and betting options
  • “Lightning-fast” scores and in-game data
  • Early cash-out
  • Easy and secure deposit and withdrawal options

NFL and college football betting markets may be heating up, but theScore Bet customers have several other markets, too:

  • NBA
  • NCAA
  • MLB
  • NHL
  • Soccer betting (UEFA Champions League, English Premier League, and MLS, included)

Plus, wagers on golf, tennis, and combat sports are coming soon.

However, deposit options are somewhat limited for the time being. TheScore Bet includes credit card (Visa/MasterCard/Discover), Bet Play, and Play+. But those options will likely expand in the near future.

Here’s more from Levy:

“We’ve always believed sports betting is just one facet of the overall fan experience, and now with theScore Bet we can deliver sports betting the way it was meant to be.”

TheScore Bet and the media connection

But what separates this app from the competition is the way it brings the media and sports betting audiences together.

For instance, the users’ favorite teams, leagues, and games from theScore sports app sync automatically to show personalized betting options in theScore Bet.

At the same time, any wagers placed can then be tracked in real-time on theScore app. This means that when using theScore, you can navigate to the corresponding bet by clicking a “Go to theScore Bet” button on the app:

Call it a unique cross-selling feature. There is also a bet mode feature that provides players with:

  • Instant access to faster scoring updates and data
  • Real-time odds
  • Live bet tracking
  • Additional betting content
  • Seamless betting calls-to-action

Sweet 16 of NJ online sports betting

TheScore sportsbook officially arrives two days before the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears kick off the 2019 NFL season on Thursday night. (Currently, theScore shows the Bears as 3-point favorites over the Pack.)

Fittingly, the NJ online sports betting field stands at a Sweet 16. Bet365 NJ also opened its doors in August, too.

Unibet NJ sportsbook remains on the coming soon list.

As far as theScore Bet goes, the NJ market is just the start of bigger things to come. The company has market access across 11 additional states via a partnership with Penn National Gaming.

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The $40 million investment

The NJ sports betting launch was one of two big announcements to come out of Toronto today.

In a separate press release, Score Media and Gaming Inc. (parent company of theScore sportsbook), announced an investment agreement with a fund managed and controlled by Fengate Asset Management.

The firm’s private equity team will invest $40 million in theScore to “fund the growth and development of the company’s media and sports betting businesses.”

Levy said theScore “is focused on becoming a leader in mobile sports gaming in North America and this strategic investment significantly enhances our ability to execute on this plan.”

“Fengate is recognized as a highly respected and experienced investor across North America, with significant expertise in the gaming industry. They are the perfect strategic investment partner as we launch our best-in-class mobile sportsbook in the United States.”

And that plan is just getting started in New Jersey.

TheScore Says It’s Going To Flip Sports Betting On Its Head With New App

Sports media company theScore has big plans for its new sportsbook app in NJ sports betting and beyond, says father-son CEO and COO, John and Benjie Levy.

In a way, sports betting has run through the veins of theScore since its genesis.

So it seems appropriate for the Toronto-based media company to become a sports betting provider.

On Tuesday, theScore announced it had partnered with New Jersey racetrack Monmouth Park and with technology provider Bet.Works.

As a result, theScore has set itself up to join an ever-expanding NJ sports betting market with a target launch of mid-2019.

“Even before PASPA was repealed, there was a lot of discussion internally about what the right way in that environment would be for us to take the next step,” Benjie Levy, COO of theScore, said in a phone interview.

“Lots of media companies talk about becoming affiliates. There’s other types of partnerships you can look at. … When we were assessing those options and looking at what the best role was for our user base in that context, any time we looked at anything short of becoming an operator seemed like it was less fulfilling of an opportunity. Like we’d be leaving something on the table.”

Merging media with sports betting business

Before the internet transformed the way in which the world disseminates information, theScore was around.

Though its mobile app debuted in 2007, theScore was once a cable network in Canada.

A bottom-of-the-screen ticker scrolled scores even during commercials. Oldies music serenaded viewers of the channel, then known as Headline Sports.

Since then, theScore, which sold its TV network to Rogers Communications, has become a go-to source for sports information. For the past 10 years, theScore has gained traction in the US, where, according to Levy, two-thirds of the company’s users live.

Now, theScore is taking its next step, a “natural next phase,” according to a statement from company founder and CEO John Levy, Benjie’s father.

“This is a transformational moment for theScore, becoming the first media company in North America to announce its plans to launch online and mobile sports betting in the United States.”

“Gaming’s always been part of our DNA,” Benjie Levy said. “Our view is that gambling is just another part of the sports experience.”

Fan engagement tops all else

A company that provides sports scores and news via its mobile app and website, theScore began considering entering the sports betting space since before PASPA was repealed in May.

Internal conversations ramped up over the summer, leading to theScore bringing in David Wang, an iGaming veteran formerly with Wynn Resorts and MGM, as a senior advisor in August.

Interestingly, Wang also serves as the CEO and founder of Bet.Works. With Wang, theScore began exploring “opportunities in sports betting,” according to John Levy.

During the past few months, theScore started building the pillars of becoming a sports betting operator. And on Tuesday, the company announced its partnerships: Monmouth Park (which also boasts William Hill NJ as a partner) and Bet.Works.

Media + sports betting

When theScore does roll out its product, which will be featured in a sportsbook app as well as a browser, it will tap into its standing as a media provider integrating sports betting rather than the other way around.

That, Benjie Levy said, will help theScore stand out from the crowd.

“When we look at what’s going on in the sports betting business today … with betting increasingly happening on mobile and in-game, you see the operators all working their tails off to try to increase the amount of engagement that happens on those platforms. They’re adding live data. They’re trying to add live video. They’re trying to create a sports engagement experience on the betting platform to try to keep users there longer and stimulate more betting.

“Our view is entirely to flip that situation on its head. We have the platform where it’s natural for users to engage around sports, to consume the content and chat with their friends while the game is going on and before and after. We think that moving the transactional element closer to the engagement is a much more natural experience than trying to recreate an engagement environment on a fundamentally transactional platform.

“Because of that, any option short of becoming an operator ourselves wouldn’t give us the latitude to execute that that was fulfilling. Not fulfilling just to us but to our users, who we put out in front of all of this.”

Joining NJ sports betting late not a worry

Certainly, the NJ sports betting industry has ballooned since going live in June.

Last month, the fourth month of available online wagering, saw mobile products account for 72 percent of an unprecedented $330 million in handle.

DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook, once primarily focused on daily fantasy sports, have emerged as heavy hitters. And of course, there are European  bookmakers such as William Hill and BetStars NJ.

Yet John Levy is not concerned about entering the industry late. For the reasons detailed above by his son.

“The other guys should be worried about that,” the company’s founder said. “We’re not in the least worried about that. I’m not trying to sound arrogant. We have a pretty solid user base in New Jersey already in our app. That’s true for users across the US.”

‘We know our users’

More than 4 million active users utilize theScore’s app, which the Levys said is the second-most popular in North America. The company also reached 50 million sports fans on its social and emerging platforms in the third quarter.

“We know our users have a high propensity to gamble,” Levy continued. “We did our own surveying, we see it in the behavior patterns of users in the app. Our theory is simple: We’re doing all the hard stuff. We’re giving them all the data, all the information, we’re pushing all this stuff out to them. It’s a very personal experience, and they’re going elsewhere to place wagers.

“Our whole philosophy is not to push anyone to do anything. That’s not our style. We’re going to make (sports betting) available. … We honestly think we have the opportunity in this space to go up against the biggest or the smallest … to really be the predominant brand in the sports betting business in New Jersey. Because of the trusted relationship and the relationship we have with our users.”

Added Benjie Levy:

“We don’t shy away from anyone. Our offering is going to be as competitive with anyone in the marketplace, both in terms of core sportsbook offerings and in terms of innovation we’re going to bring to the marketplace. … We think there’s really, across the board, areas for us to differentiate.”

New Jersey first, then …

The Levys continue emphasizing the importance of user engagement and enjoyment.

“All we care about,” John Levy said, “is providing the users with the best experience they can have in sports.”

Sports betting, he added, “is just one particular aspect of why people love sports.” Because of that loyalty, he noted, theScore could gain “the inside edge to penetrate the market effectively and at a significantly reduced cost” compared to competitors.

A team of engineers — actually, theScore’s whole team, John Levy said — is focused on meeting the company’s timeline of a mid-2019 launch of its NJ sports betting app.

It seems like the perfect time, he said.

When will theScore launch in NJ?

Depending on actual activation, theScore’s sportsbook could begin at the tail end of the NBA season, during the dog days of MLB summer, and be honed by NFL and college football kickoff.

While theScore is focused on getting off the ground in New Jersey, by no means does it have tunnel vision.

“Our users are in every state,” John Levy said. “This was never thought to be just a one-state solution. Our brand is recognized across the country. And yes, New Jersey happens to be the first (entry point for theScore) and it’s a great one to start in. … Obviously I think we’re going to be able to shine there. But clearly our intention is to roll this out across the country depending on how states open up and how they deal with it.”

Added Benjie:

“Our intent is not to get into it as one-state operator. We’re ready to consider and engage other opportunities in other states. … We’re actively engaging now.”