Joey Levy, the co-founder of microbetting app Betr, doesn’t think the legal sports betting market taking shape in the US is sustainable.
Levy believes today’s bookmakers are tailoring their products for experienced bettors rather than the mass market consumer. He says the long-term success of the betting market depends on providing entertainment value.
“This won’t work over time if we’re just trying to get as much money as possible out of people when they bet on sports,” says Levy, who co-founded Betr with celebrity boxer and social media influencer Jake. peace
Betr focuses on betting on small in-game events, such as the outcome of the next pitch in baseball, a free throw attempt in basketball, or the next play or drive in football. The company has partnered with the Ohio Pro Football Hall of Fame and plans to launch on Jan. 1, the target opening day of the state’s betting market.
Levy made headlines last week at G2E, a prominent gaming conference in Las Vegas, by announcing that Betr would ban the use of credit cards for deposits and impose deposit limits on customers aged 21-25.
He recently visited ESPN to discuss his vision for the future of sports betting in the US and how Betr will look to differentiate itself. The interview was done last week by phone. Edited for clarity and brevity.
Q: What is your vision for the future of sports betting in the US?
Rate: Today’s sportsbooks, with their money lines, point spreads and over/under, are only interpretable to people who have bet on sports before. I don’t think they are made for a mass market consumer.
With Betr, we’re taking a fundamentally different approach, where if we’re really going to be the category-defining consumer company in the space, we need to try to build a sustainable business and ensure that this industry is sustainable.
Q: what does it look like
Rate: The ethos we really want to emulate here is that it’s about entertainment value for the consumer, right? Sports betting needs to focus on how we improve the way a general mass market consumer in this country engages with sports. This should feel the same as a consumer going to the movies and spending $20. They get nothing in return for that $20, except two hours of entertainment. This is how space operators should approach it.
Q: You recently announced that Betr will no longer allow deposits via credit cards and that deposit limits will be imposed on customers aged 21-25. Why was it important to you?
Rate: People talk about responsible gaming and how important it is to them, but I don’t think anyone is taking any action to reiterate to their employees, regulators, and most importantly, consumers themselves that it’s really important that you play within your means . . This is all about entertainment value. The house always wins in the long run, right? The consumer should know. We shouldn’t be trying to get as much money out of the consumer as possible, because I think that’s a very short-term way of looking at things.
We have no interest in allowing people to gamble with money they don’t have.
Q: How will you determine deposit limits for 21-25 year olds?
Rate: We are evaluating how we will define what these deposit limits are. We have a very deep responsibility as leaders to make sure we’re deploying the stakes the right way. You have a massive proliferation of gambling that’s happening very quickly in this country, and we’re not interested in being a potential counterparty to putting young people in a bad place, who for four years didn’t have the game at their fingertips and now they do
Q: Microgambling, which Betr focuses on, has an element of instant gratification that is often associated with problem gambling. What are your plans to monitor your site to detect and ultimately stop irresponsible gambling habits?
Rate: We’ll have a lot of infrastructure in place to detect game play and shut it down before it can continue. We are surrounded by industry experts who have helped pioneer some of the modern problem gambling policies. We have a really robust problem betting plan.
I think, first and foremost, banning credit card deposits was an important step. I think it’s the most useful step in making sure people are playing within their means. I can’t think of another way to make sure people don’t gamble with money they don’t have.
Q: What do you think are the appropriate betting limits for microbetting? We don’t want players winking and winking at a guy in the stands and betting to miss the next free throw. What can you do with betting limits to try and protect the integrity of these events?
Rate: I do not have an opinion on specific dollar amounts at this time. Do I think people should be able to bet millions of dollars on individual outcomes of sporting events? Probably not.