Fox has become the first leading US media company to launch its own betting platform, Fox Bet, as it enters a market worth up to $150bn.

Launched initially in New Jersey, Fox Bet is a partnership between Fox Sports and gaming provider The Stars Group, and will replace the latter’s BetStars brand across the state.

It will target casual betters and smaller wagers, and be a tool for Fox Sports to engage fans, FOX Bet chief executive officer Robin Chhabra told Reuters.

Other media companies, including ESPN and Turner, have sought to carve out new content opportunities following last May’s Supreme Court decision to lift a 1992 ban on sports betting.

The opportunity for broadcasters is that they can create an information and content product – like Bloomberg has done for financial markets. But Fox is the first to take the next step and offer actual gambling opportunities via its Fox Bet app.

The Fox name brings wide brand recognition and an existing portfolio of news, sports broadcasters and analysts which it hopes will help attract casual gamblers.

The Rupert Murdoch-owned company can also call on the experience of Sky, which Murdoch sold to Comcast last year. Fox Bet follows the model of Sky Bet, which formed part of a wider betting and gaming business, including Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Sky Poker and Sky Bingo, that claimed to reach three quarters of the UK’s gambling population.

Sky Betting & Gaming created 200-plus gambling profiles based on preferred type of betting (e.g. football versus horse racing), as well as when people bet (e.g. weekend versus weekday) alongside frequency and value.

An algorithm is used to understand how similar customers have behaved in the past, and then predict future behaviour and what can be done to influence it. In turn, that helps the company focus its advertising spending on people with the highest potential for conversion. (For more, read WARC’s report: How Sky Betting and Gaming is using big data to improve advertising efficiency.)

Sourced from Reuters, Fox; additional content by WARC staff