Penn National Gaming Buys theScore Media and Gaming

Penn National Gaming Buys TheScore Media and Gaming

TheScore Gaming

Image: theScore

In a momentous move, Penn National Gaming has announced its recent acquisition of Toronto-based theScore Media and Gaming Incorporated, a digital media and sports betting and technology company. The (approximately) $2-billion cash-and-stock deal was confirmed on Thursday 5th August 2021 in a quarterly investment call between Penn National and theScore. This union has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both Penn National and theScore and is currently expected to close within the first quarter of 2022. 

“There’s so much that theScore does that is so complimentary with what Penn and Barstool does,” commented Jay Snowden, Penn national’s CEO. “You put it all together, and there’s so much synergy for the future in terms of revenue growth.”

Penn National

The Pennsylvania-based Penn National is one of the biggest casino and racetrack operators within the United States. The company’s casino operations include 42 properties across 20 states and video gaming terminal operations with a focus on slot machine entertainment. Live sports betting is also available in states including Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Yet lately, Penn National has evolved from a manager of gaming and racing properties into a provider of online gaming, live racing, and sports betting entertainment. 

Back in early 2020, Penn National acquired a substantial 36% stake in Barstool Sports, a leading digital sports, media, lifestyle, and entertainment company, for $163 million. Not long after, Barstool Sportsbook’s official app was introduced in Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, providing bettors with exclusive daily odds boosts, lucrative welcome offers and promotions, and brand-new features designed to give users enhanced sports betting experiences. 


Initially launching its first mobile sports media app back in 2007, theScore has subsequently become one of North America’s most popular multi-sports news apps with approximately 4 to 5 million active users. Following the overturning of PASPA in May 2018, officially legalizing sports betting in the US, theScore became one of the first sports media organizations to launch a mobile sportsbook in the US in September 2019. TheScore Bet is a convenient mobile sports betting platform currently available in four states (Colorado, Indiana, Iowa and New Jersey). The handy theScore Bet app allows its users to bet from anywhere at any time.

John Levy, CEO of theScore, commented on Penn National’s recent acquisition of theScore, “This agreement brings together two companies that share visions for how media and gaming meet, and we could not be more thrilled to join the Penn National family. I’m proud of our team and our accomplishments, and I believe the time is right to take the next steps and align with a company in Penn National with the resources and scale to accelerate our business.”

The Deal

As stated in the official press release, under the terms of the deal, theScore shareholders will obtain $17.00 in cash money and 0.2398 shares of Penn National common stock for each share in theScore. This indicates a total purchase consideration of $34.00, as per theScore share based on Penn National’s five-day volume-weighted average trading price as of the 30th July 2021. With the completion of the contract, theScore and Penn National shareholders will hold roughly 7% and 93%, respectively, of the company’s outstanding shares. 

When asked about Penn National’s procurement of theScore, Penn National’s CEO Jay Snowden said, “We are thrilled to be acquiring TheScore, which is one of the most popular sports apps in all of North America. Its unique media platform and modern and state-of-the-art technology is a powerful complement to Barstool Sports.”

He continued, “We are now uniquely positioned to effortlessly serve our customers with the most influential ecosystem of gaming, media and sports in North America, creating a community that doesn’t currently exist. Our users will enjoy a unique mobile sports betting and casino platform with customized bets and enhanced in-gaming betting opportunities, along with highly engaging, personalized sports and entertainment content, and real-time scores and stats.”

Advantages To The Acquisition

Penn National was initially drawn to theScore for its access to Canadian engineering and technology knowledge. This new partnership will therefore allow Penn National to more efficiently managing essential aspects of its technology stack, consequently leading to better control over its product development plans, reduced costs and valuable customer experience. Expenses currently being paid to third party service and technology providers can now be eliminated and handled in-house. 

Penn National and theScore both boast unique features, and by combining their efforts and expertise, they will provide a one-of-a-kind partnership that will benefit all. 

CNBC reported that shares of Score Media and Gaming (owner of theScore) massively increased on the morning of the 5th August 2021, as news of the acquisition spread nationwide. Shares were up a massive 60%, and Penn National even saw a growth of nearly 10% by midday. 

TheScore’s CEO Benjie Levy stated, “The combination of Penn National and theScore creates a first-of-its-kind integrated media and omni-channel gaming enterprise, which brings together highly engaging sports content, world-class technology, and unparalleled reach. With our accomplished team ready, this deal bolsters our ability to develop our already strong North American existence from our base in Canada and prepares us even further to capitalize on the massive upcoming betting opportunity in our home country.”


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