Betr outlines sports betting business plan as it applies for Massachusetts license
Betr officials reaffirmed projections that the start-up sportsbook can stand out among a crowd of existing sportsbooks due to its platform innovations and demographic targets, company representatives said Tuesday.
A micro betting-focused platform led by Simplebet founder Joey Levy and media personality and boxer Jake Paul, Betr is trying to capture a separate slice of the US sports betting market independent of most major established operators.
The platform will not take traditional moneyline, total or pointspread bets, and instead focus on “micro” bets centered around player props and in-play wagering, officials told members of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission during the company’s licensing hearing Tuesday.
Betr has gone live in Ohio and is also undergoing licensure review in Virginia, Indiana and Maryland. The company expects to start taking bets in these states later this year as part of a “gradual and methodical state-by-state expansion,” Levy said.
“And we do think that we’re one of the first, if not the first, to offer a fundamentally differentiated product experience in this category,” said Levy said. “And as a result of that, we want to take our time to really understand product market fit, and make sure that we have a value proposition that is really resonating with consumers.”
Company officials Tuesday also said they expect to launch a real money fantasy platform sometime this year and an online casino product by the end of 2023 or early 2024. Betr launched a free-to-play offering in 48 states last year.
At market maturity, Levy said he expects Betr to reach at least 30 states, which would encompass nearly every US jurisdiction with legal real-money mobile sports wagering.
Betr faces scrutiny
Massachusetts regulators grilled Betr officials during a lengthy hearing Tuesday, particularly Paul. Before taking on a high-profile professional boxing career, Paul was a prominent YouTube content creator. His content career has generated controversy for both the content itself as well as his personal life.
Betr officials said Tuesday the sportsbook would not accept bets on any Paul fight.
Massachusetts regulators had previously pushed Penn Entertainment and its Barstool Sportsbook brand about the role of Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, another high-profile media figure. Officials granted Penn a temporary retail and online license with a permanent license subject to further investigations.
Betr said its focus on in-play and prop-style bets will appeal to a new wave of predominantly younger bettors not served by legacy sportsbooks. That too drew concerns from regulators, which pressed Betr representatives on how they would avoid marketing to users under age 21.
Levy and other representatives from the sportsbook said their platform registration requirements would prohibit underage bettors, and it would cater its marketing to make sure it didn’t run afoul MGC regulations and state law. The company also will prohibit credit cards as well as place strict deposit limits on bettors between the ages of 21 and 25, one of the first major regulated sportsbooks to take such steps.
A final decision on Betr’s Massachusetts license is expected later this month.
Assuming licensure, Betr will run up against many of the US market leaders it believes it will be able to complement via its differentiated product offerings.
Along with Barstool, Caesars, BetMGM and WynnBet have already been approved for mobile sports betting. FanDuel and DraftKings, the No. 1 and No. 2 sportsbooks by market share, are expected to also earn licensure by month’s end.
They’re expected to join Bally Bet, Betway, PointsBet and bet365 and the soon-to-launch Fanatics sportsbook in what will be the highest total of regulated sportsbooks in the region.
“We think that micro and in-play betting may ultimately emerge as the predominant way to bet on sports in this country,” Levy said. But it requires a really dedicated product focus, which is why we’re building, essentially, an entire company around it.”
Regulators expect the first mobile books to accept wagers beginning in March. They have not yet announced a firm launch timeline.