Cavaliers Handed Setback With FuboTV Shutting Down Its Sportsbook

NBA franchise faces unanticipated challenge to joining in universal launch of sports betting

Fubo Sportsbook was among the first sports betting entities to announce plans in Ohio with a deal to become the official mobile sports betting partner of the Cleveland Cavaliers back in February.

Those plans were decimated when FuboTV announced this week that it will end all operations of Fubo Sportsbook and Fubo Gaming.

“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,” said Fubo TV co-founder and CEO  David Gandler via press release. “Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to exit the online sports wagering business effective immediately.”

The Cavaliers’ partnership with Fubo Gaming also comes to an end. The NBA franchise and Fubo Gaming had started a relationship last year when the Cavaliers became Fubo Gaming’s first sponsorship deal with an NBA franchise.

Cavaliers could miss out on Jan. 1 launch

Sports betting is scheduled to start in Ohio on Jan. 1 with a universal launch of all licensed operators. The Cavaliers and FuboTV both received approval for sports betting licenses from the Ohio Casino Control Commission. However, FuboTV’s cancellation of Fubo Sportsbook and Fubo Gaming leaves the Cavaliers without a mobile sports betting partner.

The Cavaliers have two weeks to find another partner in order to meet the commission’s Nov. 2 deadline for submission of all final responsible gaming plans, facility plans, geolocation procedures, house rules, and required procedures.  Failure to meet the commission’s Sports Gaming Implementation Timeline may cause delay in being approved to participate in the universal launch date plans for sports wagering.

“We are currently reviewing our mobile sports betting partnership with Fubo Gaming and FuboTV. We will proceed accordingly after gathering more information,” the Cavaliers said in a statement.

Fubo Sportsbook was a sports wagering platform tied to the live TV streaming service. The deal with the Cavaliers had included plans to open a 3,000-square-foot sports lounge inside Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, which would have allowed fans to watch NBA games and other sporting events on video screens inside the lounge.

The deal also involved Fubo Gaming promoting the partnership through a joint marketing plan that included visible signage during Cavaliers TV and radio programming. Fubo Gaming was also expected to serve as the presenting partner of Cavs Pick’Em, which had been tabbed as a free-to-play gaming platform.

Photo: Shutterstock


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