Q&A: Betr’s Joey Levy on responsible gaming and company’s next steps

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Betr, a micro-betting platform co-founded by Simplebet CEO Joey Levy and influencer Jake Paul, is set to launch with eyes on disrupting the status quo in US sports betting.

Levy spoke with iGaming NEXT’s Ryan Butler during last week’s Global Gaming Expo about the company’s goal, responsible gaming initiatives and ways to stand out in the crowded American marketplace.

iGaming NEXT: What is Betr’s overall vision?

Joey Levy: From a company standpoint, we’re not trying to do what everyone else has been doing. If you look at the existing sportsbooks, it’s all related to the product vision and what they’ve built for the existing sports betting customer. You have money lines, point spreads, over-unders and the spreadsheet-like UI that the mass market consumer, most of whom have not bet on sports before, cannot intuitively pick up and interact with. Our objective with Betr is to build the category-defining consumer business.

iGN: You made headlines at the 2022 Global Gaming Expo by announcing Betr would not accept credit card deposits and would enforce deposit limits for users between the ages of 21 and 25, some of the most significant, tangible responsible gaming policies of any US sportsbook operators. Tell me about Betr’s RG plans and why its so important for not just your platform but the industry overall.

JL: It’s important for a lot of reasons. There are 150 million gambling-age sports fans in this country. I’m not saying all of them will or should gamble. But I think bringing 10-to-25 million monthly average users into the market is possible if you build a consumer experience that’s really simple and intuitive and enhances the way people consume sports. But in order for that to be sustainable, and from our company value standpoint, it’s important to not just reiterate to regulators and to investors and business partners and other operators, but most importantly, to consumers, that sports betting is not about ‘making money’. The house will always win. I have no problem being transparent with consumers.

 

This is about enhancing the way you consume sports. Like I said in my tweet and I said on the panel, in a similar manner to how a consumer goes to the movies, and they spend $20 on the movie ticket and don’t get anything inherently valuable for that other than two hours of entertainment. So they traded $20 for two hours of entertainment. That’s the ethos that we need to emulate. If this is going to be a successful long-term sustainable industry, it has to be where betting on sports is enhancing your consumption of sports. It’s not about winning money. It’s also not about spending money you don’t have on gambling. So we need to reiterate this value to the market into the consumer.

iGN: Betr will be different than virtually all other major US sportsbook by not accepting ‘traditional’ bets like pointspreads or totals but instead micro bets such as next pitch result, three-pointer made, touchdown scorers and so forth. You’ve also made headlines through high-profile investors and creators, notably led by Jake Paul. How else do you continue to stand out against more than 50 other sportsbooks, several of which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing?

JL: First and foremost, we do this by offering a differentiated product experience that a normal person who’s never bet on sports before could just pick up and intuitively interact with and actually provide some entertainment value. So that’s step one, in terms of acquiring customers.

And yes, Jake is amazing and an integral part of the media company. The audience that he brings is incredible, with 70 million social media followers that are active and he’s proven to be able to monetize his audience. But the reason why he’s able to do that is he’s perhaps the best content creator. He’s a marketing genius. He sets the tone on the media side. But ultimately both myself and Jake know that this is going to be a failure if Betr over time is sort of characterized as ‘Jake Paul sports.’ That’s not what we’re trying to accomplish. We want to build a category-defining consumer business in gambling and media. And while Jake is sort of The Godfather of the talent network, we ultimately want the next 100 Jake Paul’s to come through Betr media. That’s how we’re going to be successful.

We live in a society now where creators on YouTube and TikTok and Instagram are the ones with credibility and relationships with consumers. And I think that’s how we build brand affinity and brand awareness in a far more financially sustainable way.

iGN: What does the future look like for Betr’s first round of state launches?

JL: We’re going to be very methodical whenever we go to market. You currently have 55 operators, and they’re all pretty much offering the same thing, but, I don’t think you’re gonna have 55 operators at the end. We’re going to methodically sequence the execution and market access deals. There’s a lot we need to need to learn about this product experience. It’s something very new, very different and we’re going to take our time to really refine the product experience and then we’re going to turn on the nationwide rollout when we feel like we’re really ready.

About the author

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Ryan Butler

Ryan is a veteran sports betting and iGaming regulation and breaking news journalist based in the US. A two-time Associated Press Sports Editors award winner, he has reported on sports and politics since 2012. He has covered the gaming industry since 2018. Ryan graduated from the University of Florida with a major in Journalism and a minor in Sport Management.

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