Betr Sportsbook Launches in Virginia After Lengthy Delay

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Betr, the sports betting operator backed by social media and sports personality Jake Paul, has officially launched its Virginia online sports betting app.

This marks the company’s third state entry for online sports betting, following its previous launches in Ohio and Massachusetts. Betr received a license earlier this year, but cofounder Paul’s involvement in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) delayed the proceedings.

“We are thrilled to continue expanding our online sports betting business by launching in Virginia just in time for the NFL season,” said Joey Levy, Betr CEO and cofounder, in a press release.

“Virginia will be the final state where we launch V0 of the Betr Sportsbook before rolling out our V1 Sportsbook product in existing and new states next year.”

Betr’s Journey to Virginia

The Betr app was initially designed to focus on wagering on play-by-play outcomes of various sporting events, such as each possession of an NBA game or every pitch in an MLB game.

Betr then expanded into a full sportsbook earlier this year. In late July, it also launched a daily fantasy sports offering across 27 states.

Despite covering all these bases, the core Betr sports betting app has struggled for market share in the two states is has been operating in before this Virginia launch. Even in superstar Paul’s home state of Ohio, Betr has gained less than 0.1% of market share.

It was the least popular Ohio sports betting app by handle in July, taking $300,000 in bets for the month, compared to $116 million for market leader DraftKings.

However, Betr has continued to roll out new features and upgrade its product. That’s after June saw it benefit from a $35 million funding round.

The Virginia launch has been in the cards since early this year, when the Virginia Lottery Board voted to give the operator a sports betting license. However, the issuance of that license was held up by cofounder Paul’s trouble with the SEC.

The social media star was accused of promoting a dodgy cryptocurrency scheme, during which time he failed to disclose to his millions of followers that he was being paid by the crypto’s creators. Alongside other celebrities like Lindsay Lohan, Ne-Yo, and Akon, who were also enlisted to promote the Tronix cryptocurrency, Paul paid part of a $400,000 settlement in March.

However, the Virginia Lottery Board took offense that Paul had not declared that ongoing investigation when Betr was given a license. It fined the operator $25,000 and the proceedings delayed its launch by at least six months.

Scripts and Chameleons

Now that the app has finally launched in Virginia, one of the standout new features is Betr’s Scripts product. This feature combines microbetting with the long odds of a parlay, offering an actual novel experience.

Despite that new feature, Virginia’s bettors won’t be getting the best Betr just yet. The operator is currently using what it calls its V0 sportsbook on the Simplebet platform.

Betr’s recent acquisition of the Chameleon platform from FansUnite means it expects to transition to its own in-house operating system by the first half of next year.

Last month, Levy wrote a somewhat wide-ranging and rambling letter to Betr staff after Penn Entertainment’s announcement of its upcoming ESPN Bet sportsbook. The letter addressed the time line for the upgrade.

“We implemented a plan to quickly transition off of the Simplebet betting engine onto our own product and technology in a far tighter timeframe via our acquisition of the Chameleon platform just 5 months after launching our V0 Sportsbook, which we are on track to be fully migrated onto by H1 2024,” he said.

“While it took Barstool Sportsbook nearly 3 years to finally control their own product and technology, we are on track to have this happen within 18 months, post-launch.”

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