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  • Q&A: Betr’s Joey Levy on first state launch and future plans for the platform
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Betr, the microbetting-focused real money gaming site, has launched in Ohio with plans for Massachusetts, Virginia and additional states this year. Co-founder Joey Levy spoke with Ryan Butler of iGaming Next about his initial thoughts on the first launch and Betr’s long-term plans.

 

Ryan Butler: Your first real money state launch was in Ohio in January. What are your thoughts on the Ohio market so far?

Joey Levy: “We beat our January forecast in terms of handle, revenue and customer acquisition. We also beat our February forecasts in terms of all three of those metrics as well. As you could probably tell, we’re deliberately not playing the market share game at this moment. Right now we’re really focused on proving several things. One is, we can acquire users for low to no CAC (customer acquisition costs).”

“And on that note, we don’t have all of the data very clearly with respect for social media sites like Instagram, Tik Tok, etc, because they won’t tell you exactly how many people are in Ohio versus elsewhere. But you could extrapolate. So, for example, if you take out Betr across social media platforms, assuming 50% duplicates across platforms, and then take like 3.5% of that, which is the percentage of the US population that is in Ohio, we project we’ve converted at least 20% of our Ohio social media audience to real money gaming, and just in the last two months, which is I think by far best in class, probably unprecedented.”

“And that’s with minimal CAC. It’s not zero, because we have a $50 signup bonus, and if you apply a 10% margin, that comes out at $45, but it is so far proving our model works.”

 

RB: You’ve mentioned previously your company is also focused on user engagement as a major priority. What have you seen with betting in Ohio, as well as the overall media platform nationwide?

JL: “So far we’ve been very pleased with the results.  For example, over 90% of our users are betting multiple times, over half of our users have bet at least 10 times and over 15% of our users have bet over 50 times. More than half of our users bet in January and February, as well. So retention is looking pretty solid. And we’re accomplishing all of this with a deliberate initial approach of only doing micro betting.”

“And that’s for two reasons. One is that approach enabled us to get to market as quickly as possible. And I think we actually broke a record in terms of going from company founding to launch of a regulated, real-money betting site, we had the fastest-ever launch. Only doing micro betting enabled us to launch quickly.”

“And then the second thing being, we don’t just want to be the product, company and brand synonymous with micro betting, but also instant gratification betting and in-play betting more broadly, which is where we think the market is going. But we also want to make it clear to the marketplace, not just the business community, but most importantly, consumers, that we plan on approaching the space differently. I think we’re probably the only ones that don’t look at sportsbook as like this commoditized experience, but rather, as a fundamentally different product experience.”

“And you know that that’s our initial shtick. But with that said, we’re now in the process of establishing product parity with respect to betting market coverage, with respect to the other operators. So for example, we’re integrating and launching our own takes on moneylines, pointspread acres, parlays, player props, etc. You won’t see like -175, or +5.5. But it will be displayed in our simple intuitive UI UX layer. And, we estimate that we probably would have had at least three-to-five times the amount of volume that we demonstrated in January and February in Ohio if we had product parity with respect to the betting market coverage.”

 

RB: Unlike many larger, more established brands, you’ve said Betr isn’t focused on gaining large sports betting market share at this moment. How has that strategy worked so far, and is it possible it changes as the company grows?

JL: “We could turn on the ‘brand awareness’ engine if we wanted. My co-founder (Jake Paul) has a great audience. We can get brand awareness when we want to and Jake will be the first to tell you that he’s barely even scratched the surface of what he’s ultimately going to do for this business from a brand awareness standpoint. But what we’re really focused on initially is getting brand affinity more through a grassroots effort. We really just want to have a brand and a media audience that is really engaged with the content we’re putting out. And, we’re incubating the next dozens of Jake Paul’s coming up right now in media. And I think from a distribution standpoint, that it’s a more sustainable and defensible strategy.”

“So we’re laser-focused on these things now. We’re ignoring the noise of market share, which in many ways is artificially pumped by bonus money. For example, FanDuel and DraftKings combined for so much in promo bonuses, just in January, just in Ohio, that it makes up more than three times more than our entire equity financing. Today, I don’t want to play that game. We can’t win in that game.”

“I think what you’re going to see is what we’re striving for is that 18 months from now, we could sit here and have a conversation around our unit economics versus their unit economics.  I think, you’re going to see, hopefully, that we have the best unit economics. And as we get product parity, and when we feel comfortable, I could go out and attempt to raise a few 100 million dollars to put gasoline on the marketing fire, and then we start playing the market share game. But right now we’re ignoring the noise and staying focused on what we want to validate. We’ve been quite pleased with the results.”

 

RB: What are your next state launch plans?

JL: “We’re very excited to go live in Massachusetts over the next month. The reason why we didn’t go live on the universal start date (March 10) has nothing to do with any sort of technical challenges or anything like that. I would say it’s more so that there are some additional complexities that come with launching the second state because now you’re a multi-state operator and there are some implications with how you roll out the product experience, and we just want to make sure our ducks are in a row.”

“Virginia will be soon. Indiana, we publicly announced last year that we secured market access by partnering with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and we’re very excited to have them as a partner in the business. And then Maryland, we filed for a license application. So hopefully, we receive the honor and privilege of receiving a license in both Indiana and Maryland. And those would likely be states four and five.”

“And we’re assessing market access opportunities, of course, in other states. But we’re not in a rush right now to be this broad, nationwide, licensed online sportsbook because we’re more interested in proving those things that we’ve been right so far, with strong user engagement and community-driven vitality. But if there’s a really strong opportunity for market access deals to be had in the meantime, we’re happy to consider those. Long term, we are planning on launching additional verticals within Betr gaming that will better enable us to monetize, and introduce other game types that can immediately be turned on to the majority of the US population for real money.”

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