Betr will ban the use of credit card gambling and impose deposit limits for younger users as the micro-betting start-up looks to ramp up its responsible gambling efforts.
At G2E in Las Vegas yesterday, Betr co-founder and CEO Joey Levy said the company would become the first US operator to ban credit card deposits for funding customer accounts.
Credit card gambling is already banned in the UK, but it is widely used as a deposit and wagering method across leading US operators at present.
The mobile-led disruptor will also enforce deposit limits for users that are between 21 and 25 years old, although the cap has not yet been specified.
responsible gaming is super important to us @betr. https://t.co/qySqV25gLV
— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) October 10, 2022
“Sports betting should be about enhancing the way the mass market fan consumes and interacts with sports,” wrote Levy on Twitter and LinkedIn.
“The experience should be like going to the movies and paying $20 for two hours of entertainment. Watching a live game and spending $20 on Betr to make that game more entertaining.
“We will win by becoming the primary app folks use to enhance the way they watch sports. As sports betting proliferates nationwide, we have a responsibility as leaders to get this right,” he added.
Betr CEO Joey Levy: “The experience should be like going to the moves and paying $20 for two hours of entertainment.”
Betr made an instant impact when it launched in August alongside a $50m funding round and explosive marketing campaign led by co-founder and influencer Jake Paul.
The company is targeting a recreational betting audience of young, casual sports fans and will not chase high value VIP customers.
It also hopes to achieve far lower acquisition costs than many of its US competitors through social media marketing and by leveraging its high-profile partnership with Paul.
Micro-betting start-up Betr has gone live with its first mobile app across the US.
The app is accessible in all states, initially on a free-to-play basis and is available for download from today (2 September) via the Apple and Google Play stores.
Betr, which is backed by high-profile social media influencer Jake Paul, describes itself as the world’s first micro-betting focused app.
It has pledged to disrupt the US sports betting industry by providing a UX focused on enabling users to predict the outcomes of every moment of every sporting event.
Examples include predicting every pitch and at-bat of an MLB game or every play and drive of an NFL or College football match.
Betr CEO Joey Levy: “We view this free-to-play experience as a registration and onboarding platform to begin acquiring users mixed with an interactive tutorial for the future of sports betting.”
These markets will be presented in the app as intuitive multiple-choice questions, with odds showcased in a so-called easy-to-understand format.
This is designed to distance Betr from supposed “legacy” sportsbooks in the US betting market, which make for an unnecessarily complex user experience, according to Betr.
“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Betr app today,” said Betr CEO and co-founder Joey Levy. “We view this free-to-play experience as a registration and onboarding platform to begin acquiring users mixed with an interactive tutorial for the future of sports betting.
“While this is very much an initial version that will get considerably better over time, we believe the experience released today provides a glimpse into the future of sports betting in the US – an instant gratification focus to betting delivered in a simple, intuitive user experience that anyone can enjoy, even if they have not bet on sports before.”
⚡ BETR APP IS LIVE & WE'RE GIVING AWAY A BETR JEEP ⚡
—Follow @betr & reply 'run' or 'pass' for the first offensive play of the NFL season
—Download the betr app & insert your first play pick after the coin toss on Thursdayhttps://t.co/YAx4CRuIQz
Must be 21+. T&C’s apply. pic.twitter.com/snnD2fOgSP
— betr (@betr) September 1, 2022
Despite going live on a free-to-play basis to begin with, users can wager coins which can then be redeemed for real prizes.
Customers will be granted 2,000 virtual coins when they download the app. As users earn coins, they can trade them in for cash prizes. For example, 150,000 coins can be traded in for $150. Initially, bets on major US sports leagues will be limited to 100 coins per wager.
Betr users can also earn more coins based on loyalty, by returning to the app on a daily basis.
Real-money betting launches are planned for the near future once Betr obtains the relevant licences and regulatory approval in specific states.
The business has already teamed up with the Hall of Fame Resort & Entertainment Company, which will lead to the launch of the real money-version of the app in Ohio.
Ohio’s first online and retail sportsbooks are scheduled to launch on 1 January 2023.
Betr head of product Alex Ursa, a former senior product director at FanDuel, said: “The future of the sports betting industry is finally here.
“What we launched today is not a sportsbook – this is something new, different, and interesting – which is what this industry needs, given every other operator in the space is essentially offering the same commoditised legacy sportsbook product.
Betr head of product Alex Ursa: “What we launched today is not a sportsbook – this is something new, different, and interesting – which is what this industry needs, given every other operator in the space is essentially offering the same commoditised legacy sportsbook product.”
“Betr is also the first betting app where someone who has never bet on sports before can dive right in and enjoy the experience with no learning curve and we are excited to finally be able to share it with the world,” he added.
Betr intends to raise its profile via its association with Paul, who boasts a Twitter following of 4.4 million followers and often launches exclusive promotions and prizes for his fans.
Social media marketing could well become a low-cost acquisition channel for the company as it looks to compete for market share with more established sportsbook operators across the US.
For example, one user who downloads the new Betr app and correctly predicts the first run or pass play of the NFL season will win a free Betr-branded Jeep Wrangler.
When the launch of new micro-betting operator Betr hit the headlines last week, it caused quite a stir in iGaming industry circles.
Not only is the product backed by the often controversial but hugely popular Vine-creator-turned-Disney-Channel-star-turned-social-media-influencer-turned-pro-boxer-turned-betting-operator-founder Jake Paul, it also made some pretty bold predictions about the future of sports betting in the US.
US sports betting’s next big thing?
Chief among those predictions was the claim that “micro-betting will ultimately emerge as the predominant way consumers bet on US sports.”
That belief stems from the rhythm and cadence of sports such as baseball, American football and basketball, where a stop-and-start nature means they lend themselves more readily to micro-bets on discrete events within games. This is especially true when compared to “soccer” for example, which is currently the predominant sport in betting markets across the globe.
Sporting nomenclature notwithstanding, Betr could well have a point here.
Speaking to iGaming NEXT, venture capitalist and managing partner of Sharp Alpha Advisors Lloyd Danzig said: “Soccer is a low-scoring game with a continuous clock, minimal stoppages, and far fewer discrete events as compared to the most popular US sports. Basketball, baseball, and American football appear to be especially well-suited for micro-betting.”
Daniel Graetzer, CEO of MaximBet, agreed, stating: “It works for [American] football. Is the next play going to be a run or a pass, for example. And basketball – is the next basket going to be a two-pointer or a three-pointer – so sports with more action or plays create more betting opportunities overall.”
Acies Investments co-founding partner Chris Grove: “Micro-bets can be a meaningful contributor to the growth of sports betting without climbing to the very top of the food chain.”
Questions remain, however, over the future size of the micro-betting market in the US and whether it will live up to Betr’s bold claims. If micro-markets don’t become the predominant form of US betting, many within the industry are still predicting the brand could shake things up.
“I don’t think micro-betting necessarily has to become the predominant form of betting for what Betr are doing to be successful,” said long standing industry investor and principal at Avenue H Capital, Benjie Cherniak (who also owns a stake in Betr following its Series A investment round).
“I think it just needs to become a significant part of the story, which I believe it will be in time,” he added.
Co-founding partner of Acies Investments, Chris Grove, agreed with this cautious approach, stating: “I suspect it will be quite some time before ‘traditional’ bets on game outcomes and totals are displaced as the primary generator of betting volume.
“But it’s not an ‘either/or’ question. Micro-bets can be a meaningful contributor to the growth of sports betting without climbing to the very top of the food chain.”
The kids are alright
One way micro-betting could help to grow the overall US sports betting market is by engaging with a new generation of potential punters.
As well as being better suited to the most popular US sports, prevailing wisdom states that micro-bets are more likely to appeal to a younger audience, which would not otherwise engage with the sometimes complex world of traditional sports betting.
Paul referred to Betr as the “TikTok-ification” of sports betting, with the product aimed at an audience with short attention spans due to social media. Why would anybody wait until the end of a game to find out whether their bet was a winner?
NB: with the average NFL game broadcast reported to last for three hours and 12 minutes – with the ball in play for a mere 11 minutes of that total – one can hardly blame the next generation of punters for wanting to hurry things along.
Cherniak recognises this reality. He told iGaming NEXT: “Attention spans are shortening. Paul’s audience and an emerging generation of sports enthusiasts are growing up with TikTok and related forms of bite-sized engagement. And I don’t think that the current sportsbook experience caters as well as it can to that audience.
“I don’t think betting is a one size fits all experience. But I do believe that micro-betting and betting on moments within the game is better suited to the next generation of punters – who are more social media driven – than what we offer currently,” he added.
When it comes to bringing a new generation of punters into the world of betting, the micro-bet format is not the only string to Betr’s bow. The other relies on co-founder Paul himself, as well as a slew of other social media influencers and a soon-to-be launched Betr media channel.
Let’s take this online
In addition to shining some additional light on micro-betting, Betr also proffers an insight into an emerging business model – and one which could certainly have a lasting impact on the world of sports betting – via the combination of its sports betting business with a separate media arm.
Of course, that combination is nothing new and is a model pioneered in the US by Penn Entertainment through its acquisition of sports media businesses Barstool Sports.
The world has been watching for over four years now as major US operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel and Caesars have together poured billions of dollars into advertising and marketing designed to help them acquire customers in the emerging US betting market.
Avenue H Capital principal Benjie Cherniak: “This isn’t just about sports betting. It’s about redefining and recreating the sports engagement experience and how we consume sports media and content.”
By using the power and reach of social media (Paul alone has more than 20 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and a comparable number of followers on Instagram), firms like Betr may have the opportunity to bypass extraordinary customer acquisition costs and get their brand in front of customers for a fraction of the price.
In addition to cutting down on marketing costs, this strategy has the added benefit of being more likely to appeal to a younger audience than traditional sports media, by meeting viewers where they reside – online and consuming video content made by their favourite social media curators.
Cherniak commented: “This isn’t just about sports betting. It’s about redefining and recreating, to a certain extent, the sports engagement experience and how we consume sports media and content.
“It’s about recreating the way in which a user is engaged so as to be more in tune with the preferences and habits of an emerging generation of sportsbook consumers,” he added.
If a little is good, more must be Betr
While Betr may be the first US operator to focus exclusively on micro-betting, it’s clear that the firm will not hold a monopoly on the format.
Graetzer pointed out that: “Micro-betting is not new, and in fact it’s something many operators already readily have available. We [at MaximBet] are currently rolling out our new micro-betting product which will be available very soon to our players. ‘Player props’ in particular are becoming more and more attractive to bettors, especially on in-play markets.”
DraftKings for example has already struck up a partnership with Simplebet to manage its micro-betting markets. Simplebet is the company founded by Betr co-founder Joey Levy. Indeed, Betr will be built on the firm’s B2B technology.
“Operators are already looking to expand their micro-betting menus,” admits Grove, who suggests success for Betr may accelerate adoption.
As for benchmarking the success of the emerging brand, Grove added: “Barstool feels like the most reasonable comparison for Betr. I think most industry watchers will assume that Barstool will serve as a baseline for Betr’s performance on a like-for-like basis.”
Is this the first ever underwater bet? pic.twitter.com/6sYEzIaV0v
— betr (@betr) August 15, 2022
Indeed, it will be interesting to see how Betr shapes up against its competition and how it adapts to future changes in the market.
Initially, a free-to-play version of the app is planned for launch across all 50 US states, after which time Betr will inevitably begin the process of gathering customer data on popular markets and player preferences.
Cherniak said: “Like any business aiming for exponential growth, they will need to be flexible in how they approach this thing. There is a clear gameplan today but they are smart enough to pivot and adjust as required, as they determine what this audience of theirs is consuming.”
True enough, but until the launch of real-money sports betting – for which Betr said it has already secured market-access agreements in several states – the brand’s potential still remains to be seen.
To put it another way: things can only get better for Betr.
A new sports betting operator is set to enter the US market in the coming months with support from social media influencer turned professional boxer Jake Paul and Simplebet founder Joey Levy.
Betr announced today (8 August) that it has raised $50m in Series A funding from a slew of high-profile investors, including VC firms Florida Funders, 8vc and Aliya Capital Partners, as well as famous US athletes such as the NFL’s Ezekiel Elliott, Dez Bryant, Desean Jackson and Richard Sherman.
The brand is aiming to become the first direct-to-consumer (B2C) sports betting operator focused exclusively on micro-betting in the US market. It is also destined to feature a second, separate arm designed to pump out sports-themed media for a new generation of bettors.
“Betr is setting out to disrupt legacy gambling and legacy media, with a mission of making sports and betting betr,” the company said in a statement.
The brand will leverage B2B supplier Simplebet’s micro-betting technology, which allows customers to place bets on brief and specific sports moments – such as pitches and at-bats in MLB, or plays and drives in NFL.
Betr founder and CEO Joey Levy: “I co-founded Simplebet to simplify the sports betting user experience – to reconsider why sports betting products felt uninterpretable to the casual fan who had never bet on sports before.”
The brand said that Simplebet’s proprietary machine learning and automation technology will allow this new form of betting to exist at scale.
“I co-founded Simplebet to simplify the sports betting user experience – to reconsider why sports betting products felt uninterpretable to the casual fan who had never bet on sports before,” said Betr founder and CEO Joey Levy.
“In doing so, we discovered that the technology required to enable a scalable micro-betting platform around the moments that drive US sports did not yet exist, given the global market’s focus was on soccer, a fluid sport without a natural start and stop cadence.
“So we decided to build it ourselves at Simplebet; however, years later, the user experience remains unintuitive for a mass market consumer.”
Betr is therefore seeking to “unbundle” the micro-betting experience by delivering the product via a simple, intuitive UI layer.
I am so excited to publicly announce @betr with @jakepaul today. This company feels like the culmination of my life’s work to date — and the beginning of an incredible journey with some amazing people. I wrote about it here. LFG!!!https://t.co/75AWZqyr4X
— Joey Levy (@joeyslevy) August 8, 2022
Levy added that he believes micro-betting will ultimately emerge as the predominant way customers bet on US sports, and that the upcoming launch of Betr provides an opportunity “to build the most capital efficient and culturally relevant gambling business in the US.”
In addition to its betting operations, Betr will offer a new generation of celebrities and influencers – co-founder Jake Paul included – the opportunity to create sports-focused media aimed at a younger demographic of potential bettors, who would not otherwise seek out the “legacy sportsbook product experiences”, which Betr said are currently on offer in the US.
The firm’s media arm will allow it to create additional revenue separate from its sports betting business via sponsorship and advertising. Its flagship show, BS w/ Jake Paul, has already broadcast its first preview, and will be the first of several programmes launched by the brand in the future.
Despite having no video uploads, the dedicated YouTube channel already boasts 2.4 million subscribers.
Betr has has already started to assemble an executive team of industry veterans, with Alex Ursa joining the business as head of product from FanDuel, where he helped to secure the brand’s market-leading position in US sports betting.
Betr founder and president Jake Paul: “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ification of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr. We are in this for the long haul and are focused on doing things the right way.”
Mike Denevi has also joined the business as head of media from Bleacher Report, where he helped grow the BR Betting brand’s leading social media presence.
Paul said of the launch: “Micro-betting is the TikTok-ification of sports betting and I am excited to bring it to the masses through Betr. We are in this for the long haul and are focused on doing things the right way.
“We are getting licensed state-by-state, adhering to each state’s regulatory framework while advocating for important consumer protections and responsible gambling.
“We want to be the category defining consumer company in both sports betting and sports media by the end of the decade and are confident we will achieve that goal,” he added.
Betr will release its free-to-play app across all 50 states in the coming weeks, with locally licensed real-money wagering launches expected to follow throughout the remainder of the year.
The brand said it has already secured market access in multiple states through strategic equity-based partnerships, the details of which are yet to be announced.