The Stars Group has launched its Fox Bet real money wagering experience in New Jersey, marking the first step in the previously announced link-up with Fox Sports.

Representing the first time a US sports media organisation’s brand is serving as the face of a real money sportsbook, the entity is to replace the Betstars New Jersey portal and will sit alongside PokerStars and PokerStars Casino, which will remain available without change.

The commercial agreement is scheduled to be in place for up to 25 years, with Fox Sports having acquired a 4.99 per cent stake in Stars for in the region of $236m. 

Under the terms of the partnership, Fox Sports has the right to acquire up to a 50 per cent equity stake in Stars’ US business up until the tenth anniversary of the commercial agreement, subject to approvals.

Fox Bet is “designed to immerse fans in New Jersey,” combining sports wagering opportunities with sports content, instant scores, stats, alerts and odds updates as well as up-to-the-minute news, insight and commentary from its team of broadcasters and analysts.

Several Fox Sports on-air personalities are featured on Fox Bet, including First things First analysts Cris Carter and Nick Wright, Lock It In experts Cousin Sal, Todd Fuhrman, Clay Travis and host Rachel Bonnetta, host of The Herd Colin Cowherd and Fox NFL kick-off host Charissa Thompson.

“If you’re a sports fan in New Jersey, Fox Bet is a game changer,” noted Robin Chhabra, chief executive officer of Fox Bet. “Fox Bet combines decades of expertise in content-rich programming and regulated online gaming to drive a superior, integrated and interactive live viewing experience for our customers found nowhere else in the United States.”

The Stars Group is expected to break even in 2022 on Fox Bet, with $40m invested this year, including $10m licensing fees in each of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where launch is said to be imminent pending regulatory approvals. 

Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive officer of The Stars Group, said at the time of the agreement being first announced: “We believe this strategic partnership uniquely positions us to build a leading betting business in the US, which represents one of the most exciting long-term growth opportunities for our company.

“Leveraging our proven media partnership strategy with Sky Sports in the UK, we are excited to partner with Fox Sports to integrate wagering into sports media and drive customer acquisition and retention in the US.”