Social Betting has been around a while and companies have been attempting to crack the market since 2014. BetBanter founder Damon Booth thinks he may have developed an app to crack the UK market at least.
While making a bet with his friend over a football match his friend didn’t pay up the losing bet. “I thought to myself, what if there was a platform for friends to bet against each other on sports and random events but ensure that people paid up?” BetBanter was then born. “Companies have attempted to do similar things before but have not quite scraped the surface of the potential of casual and social betting. Either the engagement isn’t quite there or the marketing is a bit off or too broad. The demand is definitely there, all my friends, especially in the UK are constantly betting each other and then making fun out of the losers on social media.” The online UK sports betting industry is valued at over £3 billion each year and mobile apps are driving much of the industry’s growth. That figure could never account for personal bets made between friends and would be much larger if it did. “One or two operators have tried but never really pushed the social betting angle due to their making more profit in fixed odds; it was more of a service to their existing customer base rather than a whole new revenue stream. An alternative is needed – casual betters might never utilise a betting account and perhaps won’t even go into a bookmakers.”
Many experts agree that social betting has large potential. Fantasy sports, especially in the US market are huge and its an area that could be developed further. The marketing strategy is key and Damon feels he has a winning formula. “We know our market, 18-40 year old men in the UK. I am an 18-40 year old man from the UK so we feel we can cater to them as we are them!” With enough reach and the correct engagement these types of social betting sites and applications could indeed stir the industry up a bit and create another option for casual betters to enjoy gambling without worrying about any potential negative impact. Engagement is also key and to combat the issue BetBanter will ensure that users keep returning to the app. “We have added some unique elements to make sure customers keep coming back which were very excited about.”
So far companies in the social betting field have managed to raise in excess of $7 million in start-up funding so Venture capital companies and the like obviously see the vision as well. “It’s still new waters but we have to jump in at the deep end to really penetrate the market. We’re keen to push the concept of social betting as an alternative to standard betting, we obviously cannot compete with the big players on the operator side but there is a decent slice of the pie up for grabs.”
It’s definitely an emerging gaming market to pay attention to!
Author: Damon Booth, Founder, Betbanter