fuboTV Strengthens Plan to Launch Sportsbook in 2021 With Vigtory Acquisition
fuboTV has executed a binding letter of intent to acquire sports betting and interactive gaming company Vigtory, and expects to launch a sportsbook before the end of the year.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 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.
fuboTV intends to leverage Vigtory’s sportsbook platform and digital gaming assets, and its consumer-driven betting technology, to develop a frictionless betting experience for fubo’s customers. Additionally, Vigtory has been in discussions for market access agreements in the eastern part of the United States and currently has a deal secured in Iowa through Casino Queen.
Vigtory was founded in 2019 by Sam Rattner and backed by SeventySix Capital. Rattner is a digital sports entrepreneur who is noted for developing and integrating sports betting content and technology with robust consumer experiences. Rattner previously founded Engine Sports, a back-testing engine allowing retail sports bettors the ability to build algorithmic betting strategies within an interactive experience. Scott Butera, who was the president of interactive gaming at MGM Resorts International and was instrumental in launching BetMGM, joined Vigtory as Rattner’s co-CEO in 2020. Prior to MGM, Butera was commissioner of the Arena Football League and held C-suite leadership positions at Foxwoods Resort Casino, Tropicana Entertainment, Cosmopolitan Resort and Casino and Trump Entertainment, among other gaming businesses.
Under the proposed acquisition, both Butera and Rattner will join fuboTV’s gaming division as president and COO, respectively.
Additionally, fuboTV announced today more details of its online wagering strategy, further positioning itself to enter what Zion Market Research estimates will become a $155 billion industry by 2024. Through its December 2020 acquisition of Balto Sports and its content automation software, fuboTV intends to launch a free to play gaming experience this summer. Free to play gaming, which will be available to all consumers whether or not they are fuboTV subscribers, will first launch in a standalone app and later be integrated directly into the fuboTV user experience. By leveraging the Vigtory and Balto acquisitions, fuboTV intends to launch a sportsbook app where consumers can see current betting lines, place a variety of wagers, cash in their winnings and much more across sports they love. Finally, the company expects to integrate the sportsbook into fuboTV’s live TV streaming platform for a seamless viewing and wagering experience.
“We believe online sports wagering is a highly complementary business to our sports-first live TV streaming platform,” says David Gandler, co-founder and CEO, fuboTV. “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. Our free to play gaming experience, which will be available to all consumers, will build further scale to fuboTV, essentially acting as another lead generator for driving subscribers to our streaming video platform and, ultimately, our sportsbook. 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.”
Gandler continued, “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 behavior 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.”
“The addition of Vigtory to fuboTV is a pivotal event in the sports entertainment industry,” says Butera. “As sports fans increasingly desire interactive sports events, sports betting and related businesses such as iGaming and free to play contests have become a critical component of fan engagement. Combining fuboTV’s broad and deep offering of live streamed sporting events with Vigtory’s world-class sports betting products creates the ultimate sports betting experience for consumers.”
“I have followed fuboTV since its launch in 2015 and am impressed that this talented team has established itself as a leader in live TV streaming,” saysRattner. “fuboTV and Vigtory share a common vision of developing great products based on great technology, all while being laser-focused on the consumer. To have the unique opportunity of integrating Vigtory’s innovative digital betting applications into live streaming, a leading vertical in how fans consume sports, is an unprecedented opportunity in the digital gaming market.”
fuboTV recently disclosed preliminary Q4 2020 results, including that it expects to have exceeded 545,000 paid subscribers in 2020, an increase of more than 72% year-over-year.