Fubo Sportsbook Folds Less Than Year After Its Arizona Sports Betting Launch

Fubo Sportsbook Folds Less Than Year After Its Arizona Sports Betting Launch
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The second Arizona sportsbook to cease operations in 2022 is Fubo Sportsbook, whose parent company announced the decision Monday.

The New York-based, publicly traded company said in a press release the online sportsbook, which partnered with the Ak-Chin Indian Community to receive one of 18 Arizona sports betting apps licenses, will shut down immediately.

Fubo Sportsbook was also live in Iowa and New Jersey.

David Gandler, who serves as the CEO and co-founder of FuboTV, said the company’s decision stems from its inability to turn a profit nearly a year after the operation launched in November 2021.

“FuboTV’s strong preliminary third quarter 2022 results reflect meaningful advancements against our continued mission to profitably scale a leading global live TV streaming platform differentiated by the greatest breadth of premium content and interactivity,” Gandler said in a company press release. “We expect to deliver strong revenue and subscriber growth in Q3, exceeding our previously issued guidance in North America, against the backdrop of a highly competitive operating environment.

“We’re pleased with this expected performance, and our progress toward achieving our positive cash flow target in 2025. Following our previously announced strategic review, we have concluded that continuing with Fubo Gaming and Fubo Sportsbook in this challenging macroeconomic environment would impact our ability to reach our longer term profitability goals. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to exit the online sports wagering business effective immediately.”

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How Fubo Sportsbook Got Here

FuboTV announced in August it was actively seeking a partner for its sportsbook operation.

“As we announced on our earnings call (Aug. 4), we continue to believe that an integrated wagering platform that offers both live video and wagering will result in the best viewing and gaming experience for consumers,” Fubo Sportsbook President Scott Butera tweeted in August. “We have decided, however, that we will no longer pursue this opportunity on our own and are exploring the best path forward to scale the business. We look forward to continuing to update you as conversations progress.”

It appears Fubo Sportsbook’s goal never materialized, though the operation did solicit interest from “several businesses,” the release said.

What Monday’s Decision Means in Arizona

Fubo Sportsbook joins Churchill Downs’ TwinSpires as the second licensed operator to fold in the Grand Canyon State so far.

In the case of TwinSpires, the Louisville-based company continues to provide backend support for its tribal partner, the Tonto Apache and its Mazatzal Sportsbook. But in July, the most recent revenue report from the Arizona Department of Gaming, the Tonto Apache had just $173,062 in handle — ranking 16 among the 18 mobile sportsbooks in the state.

In total, Fubo Sportsbook Arizona has taken in just under $3.9 million in wagers between its December launch and July.

The company’s best month came in February, when Fubo posted a handle of $895,231.

Through July, Fubo Sportsbook has ranked 13th out of 18 licensed operators, coming in behind Hard Rock Interactive ($4.3 million) and ahead of Desert Diamond ($3.692 million).

A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Gaming said Fubo Sportsbook told them it would shutter its sports betting operation Monday.

“The Department was made aware of Fubo Gaming's decision to cease operations on October 17, 2022,” the emailed statement from the department to BetArizona.com said. “We will gather all relevant information and subsequently work with the licensee to ensure the smooth cessation of operations and appropriate protection of the betting public.”

A representative from the Ak-Chin Indian Community didn’t have an immediate comment on Fubo’s decision.

Although the Ak-Chin partnered with Fubo for mobile betting, the tribe’s Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino features a Caesars Sportsbook retail location.

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Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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