Toronto’s TheScore Gets Credit For Barstool’s Sports Betting Tech Upgrade

Written By Dave Briggs on July 14, 2023
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A major platform upgrade for the Barstool Sportsbook is now complete in 16 US states and its Toronto-based partner theScore Bet gets the credit for implementing the change over to the proprietary tech stack.

This morning, the PENN Entertainment Inc. companies announced a successful full-scale technology migration. It is a further indication of the power of Toronto as a technology hub.

In March, PlayCanada spoke at length to Benjie Levy, theScore’s president and chief operating officer. TheScore operates theScore Bet in Ontario, one of the leading Ontario sports betting operators. Levy touted the rich tech talent in the Greater Toronto Area. He said theScore had added some 300 jobs in Ontario over the last few years, most in the tech side of the business.

Dan Sabreen, the vice president, communications for PENN told PlayCanada at that time:

“We’re a technology company, and so many of these hires are tapping into the deep talent pool of technology talent right in the GTA and Canada,” Sabreen said. “We just moved into our new offices in the Toronto Innovation Center. Just the whole investment in our home territory, with our home people, is something we’re really proud of.”

Levy: Controlling our own tech is key to PENN, Barstool and theScore

The purpose of PlayCanada’s interview with Levy was to reflect on the first year of Ontario’s open online gambling sector. But Levy was already looking ahead to Barstool technology migration and its importance to the company.

“A big focus for us over the next number of months is migrating Barstool in the US onto our technology platform,” Levy said. “That will be a step change in functionality and capabilities for the Barstool Sportsbook. I think you’re going to see the platform continue to evolve and continue to be user-centric. We put our products up against the best in the world and they’re going to continue to do that. Stay tuned.”

Today’s PENN press release said the new Barstool platform is, “custom built for the North American market. The vertically integrated technology stack increases platform stability and is designed to be easily scalable to expand into new markets and meet evolving regulatory requirements.”

More wagering markets, expanded player props and more

The tech upgrade was originally thought to be coming closer to the start of the NFL season. Instead, it was pushed to coincide with the MLB All-Star break which marks one of the slowest weeks in the sports betting calendar.

Barstool went offline on Monday to begin the upgrade, which was completed within about 72 hours.

PENN’s release touted the following enhancements that Barstool Sportsbook customers can expect to see, including:

  • Streamlined navigation and search across sportsbook markets and casino games (where legal).
  • More wagering markets, including expanded player props and in-game betting.
  • Greater personalization capabilities, enhanced promotions and more Barstool exclusive offers.
  • Faster load times, deposits and withdrawals.
  • Improved cash out availability.
  • Deeper integrations with theScore media app, allowing users to build and track their betslips within theScore

Further indication theScore Bet can hold its own against bigger operators

In much of the US, FanDuel and DraftKings dominate online sports betting. But Levy has long believed technology is the secret for Barstool to carve out a decent share of the market.

“We know that we can live in this market,” Levy said. “And I think we’re demonstrating that [in Ontario] over the course of the first 12 months. We built and sustained a business both in online sports betting and also in online casino. We’re proving that owning your own tech stack and creating a product where you’re winning on product — you’re not winning on promotions and marketing — and you’re serving that user every day is a recipe for success. So, we couldn’t be more pleased with where we sit as we approach the first anniversary.”

Today, PENN is heralding the Barstool upgrade as a milestone in a similar battle in the US.

“Migrating onto our proprietary technology platform and introducing a fully upgraded Barstool Sportsbook is a milestone achievement,” PENN Entertainment president and CEO Jay Snowden said in a release. “Having full control of our product and roadmap will lead to improved operational efficiency and the ability to quickly introduce new features, bespoke promotions and wagering markets. I want to congratulate our Interactive team members who worked tirelessly to ensure a successful on schedule migration, which better positions us to compete in the online gaming space.”

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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in Canada with emphasis on the casino, sports betting and horse racing sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Canada and Michigan.

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