FuboTV gets sports betting regulatory nod in Iowa

Sports-centric streaming service FuboTV took another step toward offering live sports betting on its platform after securing an approval from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to offer deposit online sports wagering in that state.

The agreement was made possible through a partnership with Casino Queen, which operates the Casino Queen Marquette riverboat casino. Casino Queen had previously partnered with the company Vigotry to launch an online sports wagering service in that state; Vigotry was acquired by FuboTV earlier this year.

Any online service wishing to offer sports betting must either have a physical location within a state where sports wagering is legal, or it must partner with a company like Casino Queen that has a gambling license and a physical location. Currently, more than a dozen states allow some form of online betting.

It is the first time FuboTV has secured regulatory approval from a state gambling commission for its sportsbook feature. The company currently has market agreements in four other states — Arizona, Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania  — and is seeking regulatory approval to operate there.

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In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, FuboTV's Chief Executive David Gandler said securing regulatory approval across the board was extremely important to the company as it continues to build out its sport wagering service over the next two to three years.

"The importance for us was about getting that licensing, to be regulated, because we want to embrace regulation and have discussions with regulators," Gandler said. "Their job is to create a safe environment for customers, and we believe we are in the best position to do that."

As the company secures regulatory approval, it will continue to build out and deploy interactive features that allow viewers to engage with sports and entertainment programming in real-time.

Some of those features are already starting to roll out to users. Yesterday, FuboTV said it will deploy a series of free-to-play games that will coincide with several CONMEBOL matches. FuboTV acquired the rights to CONMEBOL matches through the beginning of next year.

In addition to those matches, FuboTV offers live and on-demand programming from a handful of sports and general entertainment companies, including the Walt Disney Company (ESPN), Comcast's NBCUniversal (NBC Sports, Olympic Channel, Universo), Fox Corporation (Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2) Univision and others for $65 a month, with customers able to unlock more programming and features like an expanded cloud DVR for additional fees.

In its latest quarterly earnings report, FuboTV said it had more than 681,000 subscribers. The company is projecting more than 900,000 subscribers by the end of the year.

"If you think about the market share that we have today with respect to our video business, if you think about where gaming is going — roughly around $40 billion in revenue — taking 3 to 5 percent of [that revenue] could yield $1-$2 billion of top-line growth," Gandler said during the CNBC interview.

FuboTV currently holds around 6% market share across all MVPD services, Gandler affirmed.