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The Levy family, founders of Penn Entertainment-owned gaming brand theScore, are set to exit their roles in the business in a “planned leadership transition”.

Penn completed its $2bn cash and stock purchase of theScore in October 2021, with John Levy and his three sons all taking various roles in the company’s interactive division post-acquisition.

Like other Penn OSB and iGaming enterprises, theScore was originally a sports media brand that moved into betting after leveraging its media assets.

Under the timeline announced by Penn, theScore executive chairman John Levy will exit the business in mid-February 2024.

Meanwhile his three sons, head of Penn Interactive and theScore COO Benjie Levy, VP of marketing and partnerships Aubrey Levy and SVP of product management Noah Levy, plan to depart in April 2024.

Subsequently, Penn said it was in the “final stages” of its search for a new head of interactive.

“This transition plan comes at a natural inflection point, with the migration to our proprietary technology platform complete, theScore’s media and betting business delivering record results, and ESPN Bet off to a strong start,” said Penn CEO and president Jay Snowden.

Penn shakes up interactive strategy

The changing of the guard of Penn’s interactive team comes at a time of flux for the business.

In August last year the company announced it would be rebranding its US flagship Barstool Sportsbook to ESPN Bet after signing a $2bn licensing deal with Disney.

The deal seems to have so far been a measured success, with early state results showing the mobile app on its way to second-tier status.

As such, the business is reporting market share gains in excess of those ever reported by Barstool, at around 8% in Iowa and Pennsylvania.

However, growth will need to continue if Penn is to meet its targets for the venture, set at $500m-$1bn in long-term EBITDA and a target market share of 20% by 2027.

As a result, the business may be looking to shake up its interactive leadership team to help deliver on these ambitions.

“Working at Penn has been extremely rewarding and we want to thank Jay, Todd George and the entire Penn team for their partnership and support as we brought these two organisations together to execute on our uniquely integrated media and betting strategy,” said Benjie Levy.

theScore exits US on Canada day

While theScore Bet was initially active in the US, it opted to shut down its sportsbook on Canada Day 2022 after struggling to make waves in the competitive American market.

Its strategy north of the border in Ontario has reportedly met with more success, although the absence of reliable operator market data makes comparisons tricky.

The business was second in a three-way race involving bet365 and Flutter’s FanDuel, according to 2022 data.

“Empowering fans with a seamlessly integrated media and betting experience has been core to our mission since day one. That strategy has led to the success of theScore and theScore Bet in Ontario and ESPN Bet in the US and will continue to differentiate this online gaming business going forward,” said John Levy.

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