FuboTV to launch sportsbook in 2021 after announcing Vigtory acquisition

FuboTV is set to launch its own sportsbook product in 2021 after announcing plans to acquire Vigtory.

The sports streaming platform FuboTV has announced plans to launch its own sportsbook this year after acquiring the sports betting start-up firm Vigtory.

The acquisition

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the acquisition includes Vigtory’s sportsbook platform and online gaming assets. However, the underlying sportsbook engine Vigtory uses comes from Amelco.

The acquisition is subject to the execution of a definitive acquisition agreement and the satisfaction of certain closing conditions. The acquisition is expected to close in the first quarter of 2021.

In addition to this, Vigtory founder Sam Rattner and co-CEO Scott Butera will join FuboTV as chief operating officer and president of gaming respectively. Prior to this, Butera served as MGM Resorts International’s president of interactive gaming before moving to Vigtory as co-CEO last year.

David Gandler, co-founder and chief executive of fuboTV, said: “The proposed acquisition of Vigtory will give fuboTV the technology to build a consumer-driven sports betting product and launch it before the end of this year. 

“It will also help us solve two hurdles that challenge other media companies who want to enter the wagering market. 

“First, Sam and Scott have years of experience navigating the complex gaming regulatory environment and, in fact, already have a first market access agreement completed. Second, fuboTV can leverage its own first-party user behaviour data to understand our consumers’ viewing preferences, and when and how to prompt them to consider placing bets. Uniquely, fuboTV will be a media company and sportsbook all-in-one.”

Vigtory has managed to secure a market access agreement with Casino Queen in the state of Iowa which will likely be the first state where Fubo launches its new sportsbook product.

A complementary product

Gandler described sports betting operations as “highly complementary” to the existing core of Fubo’s business.

Gandler said: “We believe online sports wagering is a highly complementary business to our sports-first live TV streaming platform. We don’t see wagering as simply an add-on product to fuboTV. Instead, we believe there is a real flywheel opportunity with streaming video content and interactivity.

“We not only expect sports wagering to become a new line of business and source of revenue, but we also expect that it will increase user engagement on fuboTV resulting in higher ad monetization, better subscriber retention and reduced subscriber acquisition costs.”

Butera also said that the combination of Fubo’s streaming product with Vigtory’s betting product makes the deal a landmark in the sports entertainment landscape. The business estimates it ended 2020 with approximately 545,000 paid subscribers.

Fubo’s sports betting plan

As well as announcing the acquisition, Fubo outlined its plans to build out the sports betting arm of its operation.

To begin with, Fubo will launch a free-to-play prediction game in the summer of 2021 using the Balto Sports technology it acquired in 2020. This product will initially be a standalone application and will be integrated into the main steaming product.

Fubo then plans to launch a sports betting app using the technology it will secure from the Vigtory acquisition. This will then be integrated into the streaming product.

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