Betr Closes In on Maryland Launch

Written By Adam Hensley on May 29, 2024

It’s looking like Betr could be the first new sportsbook to launch in Maryland in 2024.

The Maryland Lottery recently approved a license for the Jake Paul-led operator, which features micro-betting.

It now awaits approval from the Maryland Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to become the 12th online sportsbook in the Old Line State.

Betr’s financial status questioned by Lottery officials

Bally’s, Queen Sportsbook, and Veterans Service Corp. are also seeking Maryland sports betting licenses. However, with approval from the Maryland Lottery, Betr is now positioned to be the first to launch this year.

It wasn’t a completely smooth approval process for Betr. In fact, the Maryland Lottery had some serious questions concerning the operator’s finances. Last year, Betr lost $32 million. Maryland Lottery Managing Director John Mooney said that was a “poor” showing and raised some red flags.

Betr told Maryland regulators that the losses did not indicate where the company stands today. Earlier this year, the company was valued at $375 million after earning an additional $15 million in financing.

Investment company 10x Capital ponied up a portion of the financing. Co-founder David Weisburd compared Betr to one of the industry’s titans.

“We believe that Betr has the product, management, and market opportunity that we saw in DraftKings in its early days with a significantly larger TAM (total available market) and room for growth today.”

Saxon Baum of Florida Funders (another investor) proclaimed that “2024 will be a pivotal year for Betr.”

Betr is currently active in just two states, Virginia and Ohio. In February, it departed Massachusetts after struggling to make a dent in that highly competitive market.

Betr has previously announced plans to launch in Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. It also said it could launch in as many as 11 states in 2024.

Betr led by Jake Paul and Joey Levy

Paul, the social media star turned boxer, told Bloomberg that he and co-founder and CEO Joey Levy came up with the concept of Betr a few years ago.

“(Companies) were paying me millions to promote their sportsbooks for my fights. They need the influencers. Now, it’s our turn to take over from the dinosaurs.”

In an interview with ESPN, Levy said that the typical sportsbooks aren’t built for the “mass-market consumer.”

“Sports betting needs to be all about how we enhance the way a mass-market, mainstream consumer in this country engages with sports. This needs to feel similarly to a consumer going to the movies and (spending) $20. They don’t get anything in return for that $20, except for two hours of entertaining. That’s how operators in the space should be approaching it.”

With Betr, the name of the game is micro-betting. It’s the niche of live betting on things as small as the next play in a football game, whether the next pitch in a baseball game will be a strike or if the ensuing basketball possession will end with a 3-pointer.

According to Betr’s website:

“Micro-betting introduces instant gratification to sports betting, enabling you to bet on every moment of every live sporting event for the first time.”

Micro-betting has grown in popularity in recent years. Not all states, however, allow live wagering. Some say it can lead to problem gambling and players chasing losses.

Betr also offers daily fantasy sports

Paul told TMZ last year that Betr Picks, the daily fantasy sports side of the business, lets customers put together lineups and compete for prizes.

“A lot of people are playing PrizePicks or Underdog, but Betr Picks, we offer way more money, we have faster payouts and the product design is way better. There are no pushes.

“It’s a lot of skill-based (action.) It’s better than gambling, in my opinion, because you can actually put thought and study it and get the good outcomes.”

DFS games are legal in Maryland, so this aspect would be an added bonus to residents looking to enjoy the full package Betr has to offer. Marylanders can choose from DFS operators such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo and Underdog, among others.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Adam Hensley

Adam Hensley is a journalist from Des Moines, Iowa, with experience covering online sports betting and gambling across Catena Media. His byline has appeared in the Associated Press, Sports Illustrated and sites within the USA Today Network. Hensley graduated from the University of Iowa in 2019 and spent his college career working for the Daily Iowan’s sports department, both as an editor and reporter.

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