TORONTO, March 23, 2021 – Score Media and Gaming Inc. Chairman and CEO John Levy appeared today before the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights as part of its study of Bill C-218 – an act to amend the Criminal Code that would legalize single-event sports betting in Canada. Below is a transcript of his remarks:
“Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to articulate our full support for Bill C-218 and the legalization of single event sports betting in Canada.
I’m proud to appear before you today on behalf of theScore, a Canadian innovation success story and third generation family business. Following in the footsteps of my father, who was a pioneer in the Canadian cable television industry, we have built theScore into a North American leader in sports media, betting and esports. Utilizing a technology led, mobile-first strategy, theScore has become one of the most popular sports media platforms in North America. We then capitalized on the emerging, regulated sports betting opportunity in the United States and launched an innovative mobile sportsbook operation that is now licensed in multiple jurisdictions.
In September 2019 we debuted theScore Bet, making history by becoming the first media company to create and operate a mobile sportsbook in the U.S. theScore Bet is now live in four states with a growing footprint and user base. Our early entry into regulated sports betting has positioned us at the forefront of this robust industry and led to significant growth for our company. In two years, our workforce has increased by more than fifty percent, and we are actively hiring at an accelerated pace to support the rapid expansion of our sportsbook operation.
Canada is now poised to usher in this vibrant industry that has the potential to be transformative for our economy. Sports betting has flourished in the U.S. since its legalization in 2018. It has created thousands of jobs, generated additional advertising revenue for sports media platforms and sponsorship revenue for teams and leagues, and produced significant tax proceeds for states. All while providing a highly regulated system for fans to feel comfortable placing bets on the teams and sports they love.
It is clear that a similar thoughtful and modernized legalized wagering framework would benefit all Canadians.
The essential component of the public policy conversation around this bill is underscored by quoting the bill’s name in full: the Safe and Regulated Sports Betting Act. Unregulated and illegal sports gambling is rampant across our country and offers no consumer protections or tax revenues for the provinces. Sports wagering needs to be monitored and regulated with comprehensive oversight to protect consumers.
Bill C-218 will allow the provinces to implement necessary consumer safeguards to provide for a safe and responsible sports wagering environment. These have been established by provincial and territorial governments for other forms of wagering over decades. Single event sports betting will seamlessly integrate within these regulatory frameworks already in place.
We urge the House of Commons and the Senate to pass Bill C-218 as quickly as possible. In connection with the legalization of single event sports wagering, we acknowledge the need for the horse racing industry to be safeguarded. We note that Bill C-13, the government version of this legislation, contained language to properly address this issue and we support an amendment to Bill C-218 that will replicate the approach of Bill C-13 to ensure that the interests of the horse racing industry are protected.
Time is of the essence with the passing of this bill. These gaming revenues represent a significant boost to a recovering economy, incenting job creation and regional economic development in many communities that will see direct and immediate benefits.
Until this bill is passed, consumers will continue to remain exposed as they engage with unregulated outfits. There is now widespread industry and clear cross-party support to amend this outdated Federal law, and it is time to seize the opportunity.
I thank the members of this committee for their consideration and thoughtful deliberation of this bill, and for this opportunity to provide my perspective and recommendation.”
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About Score Media and Gaming Inc.
Score Media and Gaming Inc. empowers millions of sports fans through its digital media and sports betting products. Its media app ‘theScore’ is one of the most popular in North America, delivering fans highly personalized live scores, news, stats, and betting information from their favorite teams, leagues, and players. The Company’s sports betting app ‘theScore Bet’ delivers an immersive and holistic mobile sports betting experience and is currently available to place wagers in New Jersey, Colorado, Indiana and Iowa. Publicly traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: SCR) and the Nasdaq Global Select Market (NASDAQ:SCR), theScore also creates and distributes innovative digital content through its web, social and esports platforms.
Forward-looking (safe harbour) statement
Statements made in this news release that relate to future plans, events or performances are forward-looking statements. Any statement containing words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “believes”, “plans”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “expects” or “intends” and other similar statements which are not historical facts contained in this release are forward-looking, and these statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on current expectations. Such statements reflect theScore’s current views with respect to future events and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Many factors could cause the Company’s actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward looking statements, including among other things, the enactment of enabling legislation and regulations in the provinces and territories of Canada to facilitate online gaming and the enactment of federal legislation to permit single-event sports wagering (including the timing of such legislation and regulations being passed and proclaimed in force (if at all) and the terms and conditions imposed in such legislation and regulations on participants in the online gaming industry), the receipt by the Company of all relevant licences and approvals under the relevant legislation and regulations, and the rate of adoption and market potential of online gaming in Canada, and those factors which are discussed under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form as filed with applicable Canadian securities regulatory authorities and available on SEDAR under the Company’s profile at www.sedar.com and elsewhere in documents that theScore files from time to time with such securities regulatory authorities, including its Management’s Discussion & Analysis. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. The Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements except as required by applicable law or regulatory requirements.