Sports Media firm theScore has unveiled plans to launch a mobile sportsbook in the United States in 2019.

The expansion comes after the company secured market access through an official licensing partnership with Darby Development LLC, operator of the Monmouth Park Racetrack in New Jersey and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA).

The agreement allows the media firm to offer online and mobile sports betting throughout New Jersey, providing the firm receives all required approvals and licenses from the State of New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) and the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC). Subject to receipt of these approvals, the firm anticipates rolling out its sports betting platform in New Jersey in mid-2019.

John Levy, Founder and CEO, commented: “This is a significant 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. Sports betting has long been part of our company DNA in how we’ve delivered content to fans. Providing the ability to actually bet on games is the natural next phase for theScore.

“With the rapid growth of mobile and in-game wagering, we are perfectly positioned to deliver a unique and amazing sports betting experience. Our large and engaged app audience spans every single U.S. state and highly indexes with sports betting enthusiasts. We can’t wait to bring a sports betting product to market and capitalise on this exciting opportunity in New Jersey and other regulated states.”

Dennis Drazin, CEO and Chairman of Darby Development added: “theScore has one of the leading sports apps in North America, a world-class reputation for mobile sports development, and a large and highly-engaged audience. Combined with Bet.Works’ best-in-class technology and their team of experienced sports book operators that will power theScore’s digital sports betting platform, we’re thrilled to welcome them to our exclusive family of partners offering sports wagering in New Jersey.”

The agreement between Darby, the NJTHA and Score Digital Sports Ventures Inc provides that Score will be the operator of a branded sportsbook pursuant to one of the sports wagering licenses conferred upon the NJTHA by the DGE, subject to receipt of all required regulatory approvals and licenses.

Pursuant to the agreement, Darby is entitled to a certain percentage of the revenue derived from Score’s operation of the sportsbook, subject to certain annual minimum guaranteed amounts as well as certain upfront fees and renewal fees, if applicable. The agreement has a term of up to 15 years, consisting of an initial term of five years, which is extendable for two successive five-year terms at the option of Score.

In addition, Score has executed a binding term sheet with Bet.Works (US) LLC, whose proprietary, cutting-edge sports betting technology will power theScore’s online and mobile sports betting platforms. Pursuant to the multi-year agreement, Bet.Works will be the exclusive supplier of sportsbook and casino technology to theScore in the United States and also provide certain operational services to theScore to facilitate its sports betting operations.