Fubo Sportsbook and Fubo Gaming are being shut down. In the process, New Jersey, Arizona, and Iowa each lose a sports betting option, and the New York Jets suddenly have a fancy MetLife Stadium lounge looking for some new signage.
FuboTV co-founder and chief executive David Gandler confirmed the move on Tuesday, sending the streaming platform’s shares upward amid a report that projected a 27% subscriber increase and positive cash flow by 2025.
Sportsbooks have been expensive propositions in the United States, as numerous national brands set off a bidding war for new customers through sign-up bonuses and free bets. Gandler noted those headwinds earlier this year in announcing a strategic review.
Gandler cited a “challenging macroeconomic environment” in a statement regarding the decision. The same environment prompted Churchill Downs to announced in February that it would scuttle its TwinSpires sports betting and online casino platforms. They remain active in a few states, currently.
FuboTV, which was created in 2021 with the acquisition of Vigtory, is one of the first sportsbooks to announce a retreat, but figures to not be the last as the era of mergers and acquisitions continues in the gambling sector. The company apparently had options for strategic partnerships. But rather than finding one, FuboTV found an offramp.
“We have made the difficult decision to exit the online sports-wagering business effective immediately,” Gandler said.
The company is expected to offer more details on Nov. 4. Fubo posted its withdrawal procedures on its website.
FuboTV shares were up as much as 12% following the streamlining moves. FactSet puts the platform’s subscriber base at 1.44 million subscribers globally. The company expects a 27% increase to 1.22 million North American subscribers by the end of the third quarter.
Fubo Sportsbook launched in New Jersey just before the NFL season through a partnership with Caesars Entertainment. It also operated in Arizona and Iowa, and had planned to launch in Ohio. It had struggled to find a niche against larger brands.
Jets to Lose Sports Betting Partner, Lounge Brander
FuboTV became an official sports betting partner of the New York Jets in 2021, marking the company’s first such association.
The deal included the creation of Fubo Sportsbook Lounge at MetLife Stadium, and the brand becoming the presenting partner of the Jets mobile app. Fubo logos still appeared on the Jets app on Tuesday.
Gaming Today has reached out to the team to ascertain the future of the lounge.
Scott Butera, a former president of Interactive Gaming at MGM Resorts International who was co-CEO at Vigtoy before the takeover, had served as president of Fubo Gaming.
Butera said at the New Jersey launch: “Launching Fubo Sportsbook in New Jersey is an important early step in the development of our integrated platform, which includes a recently improved user experience and enhanced product capabilities.
As one of the largest and most established sports betting markets in the U.S., New Jersey will allow Fubo to analyze and efficiently develop the most engaging product features that are focused on driving streaming customers into wagering.
New Jersey is known for having deeply passionate sports fans, who, we believe, will enjoy our one-of-a-kind immersive sports wagering and viewing experience in time for football season.”
Among the many details FuboTV must untangle is a long-term deal announced in January with the Houston Dynamo Football Club making it the official sports betting partner of the Dynamo and NWSL Dash. The pact put Fubo signage on both teams’ training uniforms and pre-supposed a market access deal with them even though sports betting legislation has not been passed in Texas.
Arizona, Iowa, New Jersey Bettors Looking for Fubo Withdrawal
With Fubo’s petition to dissolve the sportsbook and gaming platforms filed in Delaware courts, customers in Arizona, Iowa, and New Jersey who have money in their accounts are nervously lining up to withdraw their funds. Gaming commissions in Arizona, Iowa and New Jersey had yet to field customer complaints.
The site came back online late Tuesday afternoon so customers could begin withdrawing funds. According to state rules in Arizona, Iowa and New Jersey, bettors will have 30 days to recoup their wallets.
— Green Jacket Gary (@greenjacketgary) October 18, 2022
Social media was abuzz on Tuesday with apparent frustrations. Gaming Today is attempting to independently confirm them.
The last time a betting app went out of business so quickly in North America was in November, when the Hard Rock app was ordered shuttered in Florida by federal courts, but there appeared to be few problems with players getting their money back in that case.
A representative from the Arizona Department of Gaming told Gaming Today it “has received patron inquiries regarding Fubo Gaming’s decision to cease operations. The Department is in the process of gathering all relevant information and will subsequently work with the licensee to ensure the smooth cessation of operations and appropriate protection of the betting public.”